On Wednesday, I was so anxious for my daughter to come home from college I kept bursting into tears, really just pent up emotions hoping everything would be okay. And, of course, it was. When I got home from work, there she was, curled under blankets sleeping on the couch. Thirty minutes later, she went out with friends. It's so wonderful having her home again!
Kids don't mean to make their parents cry, but they do. Recently, my friend told me she'd been crying over a problem concerning her daughter every night for weeks, even in her car, listening to sad music to cry some more. But then remarkably the situation resolved itself. She laughed at herself for the homemade drama but I couldn't stop thinking about all those wasted tears.
Which leads in a circuitous way to a story I've been meaning to tell about my brother David and I when we were kids.
On trips to Florida, my father would bring home painted turtles, no bigger than a silver dollar. We'd play with them for a few days and then they'd die. Afterward, David and I'd have an elaborate burial ceremony between our yard and the neighbors', where we'd place the deceased in a box and proceed solemnly from the driveway to a spot under the magnolia. But one time, as soon as we bent down to place the turtle in the ground, it started wriggling around... then stopped. We began again: we walked to the end of the line, crying and saying our prayers, and the damn thing started up again. We did this over and over until, finally, we buried it. It seems cruel now, but I can imagine my brother and I thinking as we made that long march: Why waste all those good tears?