Yesterday after lunch, August and Chris were sleeping together in my bedroom while I cleaned up the kitchen and Brooksie snoozed in his crib. Then, I clanged something too loud (as usual) and woke my baby in the next room. There went my hour to write.
So, while Brooksie ate his mac n’cheese, I sat at the table to write. Except first I read Rachel Held Evans’ Sunday Superlatives post and got caught up in this video about a little girl’s dream to raise money for Charity: Water. I watched that video and cried at the table while Brooksie watched me.
Then I wasn’t crying about the little girl Rachel and her gift of water, I was crying about my grandfather. I was standing in kitchen next to the table crying.
And you know what my sweet 16-month-old did? He laughed at me. He laughed! He, who is never quick to use words, but loves to sign and act it out, began pretending to cry like me. He was rubbing his face and smiling. He was pointing at my computer and making a silly face.
“Are you making fun of me?” I laughed.
He smiled and pointed at my face.
“I’m allowed to be sad, little boy!” I said, then hiccupped. He smiled at me again.
“I’m sad about Pawpaw.”
Brooksie looked at me and laughed again. And I did too.
Then I felt something like the best kind of ordinariness. There is grief in my life right now. What did the Psalmist say? Tears have been my food? It’s not all day long. I’m still laughing. I’m still making it through conversations. I’m out of bed. I’m even happy pretty often. But it comes at least three times a day, these tears. Are they nourishing me? Feeding me in some way?
All these tears. Every time a friend holds the hug a little longer. Every time I sense sincerity in their eyes, tears. At church yesterday, I sang about eternity. I begged God for it to be true and then I believed it and I cried at the thought of such beauty and the thought of my grandfather with Jesus and all those tears fed me.
So in the kitchen with Brooksie after that baby laughed at my scrunched up weepy face, I laughed too. And I pulled him out of his highchair and stuck my face in his neck until he was off running, balloon in hand.
Sometimes tears are like a refresh button. They shake us up and turn us on again. Sometimes tears come so next you can laugh.