I like to joke that if I don't get my emotional outbursts under control I'm going to turn my kids into emotional cripples. Now it turns out, that's a self-fulfilling prophecy and not nearly as funny now that it's true.
The other day, Elizabeth and I were chatting about nothing when she suddenly cuts in with, "If you would die, I would cry. A lot." I was a little dumbfounded with how to respond so I just said, "Thanks, babe. Glad you care" and gave her a kiss on the head. She looked at me solemnly and said, "No, really. I would cry if you died. In fact, I think I'm going to cry right now." And then she cried. She really cried.
I don't know what to do in these situations. I'm usually not on the receiving ends of hysterical crying, I'm doling it out. Early on in our relationship, Will and I were driving somewhere. Just a typical day. Nothing special. We're driving down the highway and I am just overwhelmed by emotions.Completely out of nowhere, I started sobbing so hard I couldn't talk. The look on Will's face is one I will never forget. He was horrified. He probably thought I was completely insane, and I know I looked completely insane. He didn't know if he should pull over and console me or kick me out of the car and speed away. I finally was able to choke out the words, "I'm. SO. HAPPY!" Since we were new to this relationship thing, he took it as a high compliment (albeit odd) that I cared that much and he found it hysterical. Now my ridiculous tears are so common place Will doesn't bat an eye when he finds me sobbing in a corner. I haven't evolved to that state yet. When Elizabeth started crying I just copied Will's horrified look until she worked it out. I suddenly knew exactly how he felt. The poor, poor dear.
Lately, Elizabeth has been on a growing-up kick. She likes to ask me to pretend that she's 16 or to pretend like she just had a baby or just got married. Today the game was that she had just gotten married and she was moving into her own house. She packed up her things and talked about moving out. She gave me a hug and told me that she would visit often and that I could visit her. Then she went around to pack up her last few things and suddenly she went from singing, "I'm packing my things to move out of my house" to sobbing, "I'm moooovinnggg out of my house waaahahahahaha. I don't want to move away from you booooohooooo." I'm starting to get better at handling these things. My first instinct was to grab some food and shove it into her mouth because clearly, this girl's blood sugar was too low. She was too despondent to eat. I hugged her while she was shaking with emotion...for THIRTY MINUTES!!!!! Thirty minutes of hiccuping sobs over a make-believe scenario that SHE MADE UP. Once she was calm enough to eat something she got a little better, but she still spent most of the morning breaking out into tears again when she remembered that she was moving out...in 16 years. I think it's time to start making this home not so welcoming. Make her transition easier.