I've been referred to as dead inside. As having a heart of stone. You know the phrase Speaking Truth, in Love? Apparently I have mastered the first half with a little to be desired on the second. And those are just comments from my husband.
Though I haven't loved these descriptors (I prefer the term “realist”), they were, in essence, true. Historically, I was never very emotional or known to shed many tears.
Notice the past tense? Me too.
Sometime during my post-partum stay at the hospital, there was a change. Maybe it can be chalked up to the 24 hours without food or water, but a sniveling version of myself nestled in and refused to leave. Like a free boost at Jamba Juice, the cry baby emotion was included with my stay.
Situations which previously left me unaffected now make me cry. I misted up watching a marriage proposal of a couple I never met. Welled up as a man gave up his seat on the train for an elderly woman. Seeing a three legged dog hobble around the block queues the tears. And don’t even get me started on the Applebee’s commercial where the football team arrives at closing time. I am a mess.
Do I miss the old version of me? Sometimes. It's strange how news stories, commercials, and babies hold a kryptonite type of power over me. But I like the softer side too: there's now more Love in the Truth spoken and more empathy for what others are going through.
Previously I wasted energy hiding my emotions. Now the joy of watching my child laugh and learn often materializes into tears. Tears I wear with pride. To me, these emotional moments become the lasting memories no photo can capture and no parent can forget. But just in case, I still tend to write them down or document with video…my memory isn’t what it used to be.
Now where was I? Oh, right…
While the pre-baby me isn't completely gone (I still roll my eyes at any RomCom starring Kathrine Heigl), I can now appreciate the softer outer shell to my heart of stone and wisely carry a pack of Kleenex at all times.
Though, it would be easier to keep up my tough girl façade if the three legged dog would move out of the neighborhood. He's really destroying what I have left of my street cred.