Have a Good Cry

"An onion can make people cry but there's never been a vegetable
that can make people laugh." -Will Rogers

I have to disagree with that one, having giggled at the sight of an occasional carrot or cucumber.

Should a parent tell a son to stop crying and be a man? That's telling him that men don't cry, or at least that they shouldn't. So, when emotions overtake him and he can't hold back the tears, he feels like something is wrong with him. I think he should be allowed to express his feelings.

I'm referring to genuine tears - not whining and manipulation. That's something else.

Crying is a natural response to grief, loss, pain and sometimes to frustration or fear.

Or onions.

Some people even cry when they're happy. It's a readily-available, drug-free release of emotion. And it's safer than punching a hole in the wall.

Nobody should have to feel ashamed of shedding a few tears when they feel sad. It's human.

Crying also is a way of expressing frustration. We women are great at this. When all else fails, I cry. It may not solve the problem directly, but it helps clear the mind. And a clear mind is more likely to be able to come up with a practical solution to the problem.

So there!

There are times when it's socially inappropriate to cry (like at work). I've felt the tears well up and had to slip away to the restroom. I would guess that if a man did this, he'd be less likely to have a fellow employee walk up and give him a hug than a woman would be. Again, I'm just guessing.

Crying can be so cathartic. Indulging in a good cry relieves stress. It's cleansing, and can make a person feel renewed. My dad used to tell me "The more you cry, the less you pee." Not sure if that's any real benefit or not. But since I was a girl, I was sort of given permission to cry.

For some reason, it seems less socially acceptable for males to weep. There's really nothing unmanly about it though.

Remember the shortest and possibly most stirring verse in the Bible: "Jesus wept."

Why not pull out that old VHS tape and watch "Old Yeller" again. Have a little cry with the kids. Let them know it's ok, and discuss what everybody is feeling.

Then go on to something happy. Laughing is even better.

©2011, Mary Lou St. Lucas

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Mary Lou St. Lucas is a former stay-at-home mom who has participated in custody and divorce-related support groups. She often speaks out through impassioned letters to local newspapers regarding issues affecting quality of life for children and families. She has experienced divorce, including the heartbreaking decision to give up daily contact with her two sons for what she believed was their best interest at that time, as well as the societal stigma attached to being a non-custodial mother. She emphasizes the importance of kids having BOTH parents in their lives on a regular basis, even if the parents cannot or will not be married anymore. She hopes other parents will see that there may be alternatives to the standard custody arrangements, depending on the individual situation. She writes from her perspective of today instead of revisiting and dwelling on the painful emotions of her past. She strives to live a full life in spite of a recent diagnosis of fibromyalgia, and believes a sense of humor is mandatory. mlstuff.blogspot.com/2007/08/male-bashing-t-shirts.html or E-Mail.

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