Why I Love Being a Parent by Floyd Gomes

My daughter is dramatic.  She’s dramatic at the breakfast table, she’s dramatic at the piano, she’s dramatic on the playground.  And I love it.  I named her after Astroboy’s half sister, Livian, so maybe that was destined.

I haven’t written for a while – so much happened in 2016, I just couldn’t find myself doing it.

But this morning I do.

Sometimes Livian laughs, so much that food splutters out of her mouth (yuk), so much that it makes me at least smile if not laugh with her.

Sometimes Livian cries.  And when she cries – I tell her “Livian, don’t cry too easily, it’s not a good habit or you’ll become too dramatic in your life”.  But I’ve thinking about this.

As a society, we love being around people who laugh.  But laughing is an emotional thing that perhaps has another side – crying.  Indeed, for some people, the two merge and tears of joy flow.

So my point is, why do I let Livian laugh, laugh with her and let her keep laughing.  Yet if she cries, I tell her to stop, to get over it.  Is life that easy?

I know an old lady who can’t cry.  She’s told me this many times before. She’s in her 90s.  And as she tells me how she can’t cry, her eyes almost tear up, but they don’t.  Instead a well trodden frown line emerges, and she continues on.

We live in a “suck it up” society.  But if you create that society – we risk letting people truly laugh, truly be happy.  Because my point is – we raise children who either feel comfortable to express emotion or not.  And if we want them to be happy and laugh, we need to accept that sometimes – they need to be free to cry.  Children and adults.  9 or 90.  And, as a friend, parent, brother, sister, work colleague, we need to learn to cope with crying, and see it as a natural expression, rather than a sign of weakness or instability to be avoided.

Indeed, on a positive note, I can report, most patients who have ever cried during a consultation seem to feel so much better after it.  After crying, a smile often breaks out – in that moment as they turn.  And perhaps, they’re closer to laughing again.

As for Livian, knock knock, who’s there “interrupting cow”, interrupting cow wh- “moo moo moo, hahahahahahah”.

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