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May 16, 2008


Unlike previous versions of myself, I hardly ever cry. I can count on one hand the number of times I've cried in recent memory in fact. To my knowledge, there have been only three instances since the beginning of the year (read: since becoming pregnant) that I have actually shed tears. You may not believe me, either because you don't think a pregnant woman could control her emotion or because you have known me in life and have experienced my previously soft sensitivities. Whichever camp you are in, look alive! I am a pregnant woman who yells instead of cries and a person who has gotten over her prior tendency to cry at the sight of a puppy or sound of a lovely phrase. Call it growing up, call it being hardened. I, for one, am happy for the change.

I have cried three times this year. Only one had to do with school, and it doesn't even count because I was so exhausted from staying up all night to study between throwing up my dinner that I cannot possibly be held responsible for my actions or uncontrolled emotions. So let us dispense with that incident. The other two have been, shall we say, surprising.

The first was about a few weeks ago when Patrick and I decided to watch a movie. I told him to pick something on the short side, but to surprise me. When his film of choice came on, it was Finding Nemo, one we have seen approximately one billion times because we love Ellen DeGeneres. I quote some of the most obscure lines from this one and Patrick is right there with me because we have watched it so many times. This may go without saying, but I have never cried in this movie before. But we haven't watched since we procreated and this time was different. I burst - BURST - into tears at the beginning after Coral dies and the shark eats all of the eggs except Nemo's. Patrick looked at me as if I had suddenly morphed into an errant garden hose, and I was just as shocked.

The other time was on Wednesday when I was driving to the market to pick up an onion and feta cheese for a dinner we were making. I was listening to NPR and Melissa Block was reporting from China. [Note: I have intentionally avoided the news regarding the earthquake in China. I am not a horrible, insensitive person, but I know how wrapped up I get in these things and simply do not want to subject myself to it. I feel nothing but sorrow for the situation, but if I read and watched and listened as much as I want to, I would become absorbed in that sorrow, which is not good for anyone.] I listened to Melissa's report following a young couple as they went to look for their 2 year old son and the husband's parents, who were babysitting while the couple was at work. I listened as the couple got close enough to their building to see that it had collapsed, to find that the soldiers working didn't have the proper tools, to hear that the couple went and bought the soldiers gloves and masks so that they could work. I sat in the parking lot of the grocery and listened to this family's most private, most terrible moment as they heard news that the soldiers had found the bodies of their son and parents and that all three were holding on to each other, even in death. And I listened as the mother sobbed and cried out, "Mama's here, baby. I'm here now." And I cried and cried.

Rather like now, just thinking about it. Make it four times this year. Everything is already different, even being an almost-mom.

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