Kids make mothers cry in a huge variety of situations - which I tried to remember last night as I left the dinner table in tears (a combination of sleep deprivation, hormonal wackiness, and a rude comment by my Jekyll-and-Hyde-esque 12-year-old). I've cried at sappy Hallmark commercials with cute kids saying goodbye to Gramma, at homemade mothers' day gifts, at aggravating arguments, and at unexpected sweet comments. I've cried from exhaustion, joy, and pain (3 bouts of mastitis with each kid, an excruciating milk duct infection whose treatment is - even more nursing. Ouch! And I've cried for my kids, feeling their pain when they get snubbed, or hurt, or treated unfairly by the lousy director who doesn't see their incredible potential just because they had a lousy audition . . . . (just kidding on that one).
I've been a confirmed weeper since childhood, and I firmly believe that by releasing all those stress hormones, my tears are buying me longevity and improved health - and even if that's not true, what the hell, who doesn't love the release of a good cry? It is a bit embarrassing when I can't stop, or when they start in public for odd reasons (weeping at a performance of Guys and Dolls because my kid executed a great double pirouette, even though 'Luck Be A Lady Tonight' doesn't usually elicit tears from the audience!).
My kids have gotten used to my crying, although it took a bit. A few years ago, when I was newly remarried, I came into our bedroom to find Scott (a.k.a Husband 2.0) in our bed with Ben, both reading and cuddled together so sweetly, I burst into tears. Ben was very concerned that he'd done something wrong, but I explained, "No, THIS time Mommy's crying because I'm so happy!" The message must have gotten through, because a few nights later, as I headed into our room, I could hear Ben directing Scott, "No, put your arm here, my head here, and let's make Mom cry again!"