Monday, January 10, 2011

"I'm a Weepah"

Call it hormones.

Call it middle age.

(On second thought, don’t you DARE call it middle age.)

Maybe it’s winter, which is always rough for me (doesn’t help that it gets dark right after lunch—geesh! It’s like we live in Alaska . . . without all the beauty.).

I don’t know what it is, but lately I’ve been especially, shall we say, weepy.

I can’t get through a church service without dabbing at my eyes. I can’t watch television commercials without tearing up (all those poor people with medical issues and tax problems!). And don’t even get me started about watching the news . . . .

Yesterday I surprised myself, though, when my college girl went back to school. I drove her all of eight blocks back to the dorm in the late afternoon, pulled into the circular drive, and looked into those beautiful blue eyes. For some reason I felt like I needed some closure. (I’m big into closure, just ask my family.) So I turned to her and said, “It was a really great break, Kate. We loved having you home.” And then I cried. Just like a little baby, I wept.

Reminds me of that scene in “The Holiday” when Jude Law tells Cameron Diaz about his crying problem and he says, “I weep. I’m a weeper.” (Only in his gorgeous British accent he says “weepah.”) Yep, that’s me. A weeper.

So there I was, mind racing, realizing that half of her freshman year was already over and before I know it she’ll be a sophomore and before I know it again she’ll be halfway done with college and speeding quickly down the highway toward real adulthood. They grow up so fast. *sniff, sniff*

It’s not like Christmas break was perfect. Those three little angels aren’t exactly angels all the time. They don’t always get along. They don’t always even acknowledge each other’s existence as human beings. But they are sisters who love each other, and it’s always fun to have them all under one roof.

Which is, I guess, why I unexpectedly started to cry as I dropped my daughter at her dorm. (Of course, it could have been the huge tuition check I handed her with strict instructions to not-lose-it-but-be-sure-you-don’t-take-it-to-student-accounts-until-Tuesday.)

I looked at my daughter, growing into a woman, and realized how quickly things are changing. Those nights of having all five of us under one roof are becoming less and less frequent and more and more precious. The playful banter and raucous laughter that seems to only happen when we’re ALL here will end for a while. The noise will die down . . . A LOT . . . and the big space that seems to be filled up when all five of us are home will have just a little less personality to it.

Kate’s gone. Sure, she’s only a few blocks away. And, sure, I may see her later today with some things she’s forgotten here at home. But things have changed again, my world has altered just a little, and I must move on.

With tears in my eyes.



  1. I always cry when the bus pulls away with my oldest on it. I feel like running after it and banging on the side for it to stop and yanking her right off of there and making her come home. That moment is hard!

  2. I feel your pain. I, too, am a weepah!! Sam went back last is going way too fast!!!!

  3. I can just imagine how I'd be if I had to put her on a bus to school, Susanne. I think I'd do just what you described.

    Mitzi, I know this is hard on you too. :(

  4. I hate to say it Shelly, but you've always been a weeper.

    I love you for it.

  5. I have a sense of those times diminishing as well. Valerie leaves in August for college and I can't imagine how much we will miss her. The times around the table, laughing together, are indeed precious.

  6. Talk about being a weeper...We sent our boy off to college while we were stationed in Germany. We came back to the states, got him all set up, and then had to GO BACK to Germany!

  7. I love your references to movies.

    Ah, I love it when everyone is home. . . and now that we all live in the same city . . . it happens on a semi regular basis.

    Finally, when I say goodbye, I don't have to cry.

    Glad Kate was home.


  8. It's so fun having them under one roof.... but I can't keep these college guy hours for very long! We stay up late (sometimes until 3 or so) just so we can spend time with these college boys who turn into vampires whenever they are home!

    I think it is good for you to experience such emotions... life can speed by so fast . I think it means you are truly living each moment... on the flipside... it could also be hormonal.

  9. Oh my. I have days like that. Have you seen the Maxwell or Folger's Commercial where the guy comes home from West Africa and his little sister says he is her Christmas present?!? I cried like a baby.

    I read a book once, and the author said there is a gift -a gift of tears. It shows the soft, vulnerable side of your heart. It is when we stop having these "weepy" moments that we should be concerned. I've been there, too.

    I prefer to remember that I have a heart and sometimes it is more weepy than others.

  10. I'm a weepah, too. But even though I've been this way my entire life, sometimes the tears still take me by surprise. On New Year's Eve, we had a belated Christmas lunch with my parents and siblings. I happened to drive home alone, because my parents were keeping Annalyn and Mark had driven separately from work. One second I was rocking out to Def Leppard at full blast and the next? Sobbing like a big baby!

    Anyway. All that to say I understand weeping. :)

    And I'm pretty sure that I will bawl my eyes out when I send Annalyn to kindergarten...and elementary school...and camp...and high school...and ohmygoodness, college!

  11. (Hi Shelly - I've been reading your blog for so long and never commented, but I gotta comment on this one!!!)

    I, too, feel your pain. And I, too, am a weepah!!

    I cried on Sunday taking Kerry to the airport, even though I thought I was going to be okay. Then I cried the rest of Sunday, on and off. I was okay on Monday until I read the last 50 pages of our book club book, "Every Last One". I sobbed! With noises! I'm crying right now!

    Even though I know Kerry is where she should be and is happy, it's sad for me because her leaving for college is the start of a new "chapter" in our family's book. And just like in your house, we didn't have all happy moments these last 4 weeks. But we were all here -- a complete unit. I know things change, and change is good, but that's not gonna stop me from crying my way through it!!

  12. Marie!! I'm so glad you commented! I cannot imagine sending my girl as far as you're sending yours. I know I'm lucky to have her here, and I sure don't take it for granted. You can come weep with me any time. (And that book made me cry too! Oh my goodness!!)