Do Men Cry?

The dark haired beauty looked up at me and asked me if daddies ever cry. I smiled back at her and said that sometimes they do. She looked up at me and asked why she hadn't ever seen me cry. I smiled again and asked her why.

"Abba, it is ok to cry. It doesn't mean that you are a baby," she replied. And with that she pulled my head down and kissed my black eye. For a moment I stopped and stared at her, not really sure what to say. So I hugged her and told her that she was right.

And then I thought back to a post I wrote five years ago called The tears that do not fall. In that post I related the story of how a 14 year-old boy swore that he wouldn't cry anymore. That post stands out for a number of reasons. It was among the first in which I really opened up here. It was among the first that made me realize that there was far more potential here than I had ever realized.

It stands out because it is our character for me. I suppose If you only know me through the blogosphere that might sound strange, but in person I am relatively guarded and careful with what I am willing to share. I don't open up very easily. Too many years of doing otherwise.

Five years later I still rarely cry. It is better than it was. It is easier than it was, but it is still rare. In fact, I don't think that anyone has really seen me cry in person since I was that teenage boy. I won't say that it is impossible or unlikely for things to change. It is a safe bet to say that one of these days that will change.

But it is not going to come easily. I look back at that post and five years later much of it is familiar, too familiar. Don't misunderstand, I don't see crying as a panacea for all that troubles me. I don't think that it is going to fix all of the challenges I may face at a particular time. I am not convinced that it is always going to make me feel better.

But I think that it will help. I think that some things that bother me may disappear or at least fade away more quickly. I think that it might make it easier to let go. For now I suppose that I will just have to wait and see what happens.


TikunOlam said...

It's ok not to cry too. For so many years people kept repeating that it is ok for men to cry, teach your boys that it's ok to cry. And of course they are right. But it really is ok not to cry too. People express themselves in all different ways. Some expressions of emotion are very biologically hardwired. Often crying is not a choice, it just happens. And it happens more for women than men. Just because you don't cry much doesn't mean you aren't processing emotion or feeling what you should be feeling.

Jack Steiner said...

I don't spend oodles of time worrying about it. But I readily admit to wondering if it would make a difference.

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