Tonight was a tough one. It started with Toby abandoning the will to live and convulsing in what is known as “death throes”. I was talking to Supermom on the phone on my drive home and she went into a blubbering panic about holding our dying pet in her arms. She pleaded for me to “hurry home” and “help me” but I was sitting in traffic. He died before I got there.
I know he was a pet. I know he belonged to a group of animals that seem to welcome death with open arms. Animals aren’t people. Those facts didn’t stop me from being upset. Sometimes animals feel like people. They have personality and give affection. They become a part of our lives. Then they die a violent death in the middle of your king sized bed.
I felt guilty about crying. Like it was silly for a dad to cry about a pet. Then my girls noticed and asked me a question.
“Daddy, Are you crying?”
“Yes honey. Daddy is sad.”
“Do boys cry?”
“Of course. Boys get sad just like girls and some cry…the strong ones do anyway. It is okay to cry.” Then they joined me in a hug and we worked through our sad moment together.
Our society works hard to project the image of the stoic male, holding his head high while his females sob at his feet. He is unaffected by their petty tears. He knows that life is hard. Rub some dirt in it. Shake it off. There is no crying in baseball.
I don’t want to ever be that guy. I don’t want to be that kind of dad.
I want to be strong when needed but I have learned to not fight my tears. Tears are how the soul waves at the things it loves. My soul loves lots of things.
I have decide to not feel guilty for loving things or showing that I do. It is a waste of time.
If you are a big boy or girl and you totally cry sometimes, this post is for you. You’re welcome.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.