It may be because my Mom's side of the family is very English and very Dutch. I vividly remember my Grandmother raising me with her words, "Keep your emotions inside and put on a brave face", you know, the whole, 'stiff upper lip' idea. The only problem with that, is my Dad's side is very Scottish and Irish. Whether there's any truth to the whole genetics attribute and what your background may be, I have a fire that runs through me that could take the hair off a bear.
In any case, for whatever reason, be it genetics or age, the emotional side seems to be getting the better of me.
Take for instance our son. His top lip has been getting increasingly 'dirtier'. Not enough to see actual hair or significant growth, just a strange fuzz of dirt. A grungy, we need to get rid of that, layer of yuck.
It was time.
At first it seemed like fun. A science experiment of sorts, getting his first razor, shaving cream and towel all ready. We gathered like spectators to see how he'd do. It was exciting to see what the before and after would be and our younger kids were freaking out on whether or not he'd nick himself and bleed all over the house.
Then, something shifted. I wasn't expecting it and have no idea where it came from, but when my husband began the process of explaining what to do, my throat closed and my heart pounded. He was showing our son, our baby boy how to shave. The little bundle of sweet smelling, softest skin yumminess we took home from the hospital a minute ago, was standing in front of a mirror with his father, getting ready to cross to another phase in life.
"Are you crying?" My husband looked over as our son awkwardly held his razor ensuring that he would in fact, bleed all over the house.
"No, I'm fine. Just keep going."
I wasn't ready. I didn't prepare myself for how I would feel. Sure you visualize your kids learning how to drive or graduate from school, but I never imagined the first time our sons would shave.
My Dad taught me how to shoot a gun, change the oil, fix a flat, but he never taught me this.
So, I cried. I wept actually. When they were done, I went to our room where I crawled into bed in sobs and my husband found me.
Confused, he pulled me in his arms and I felt his smile on the top of my head, "So you literally don't shed a tear on our wedding day, but for this?"
The bitter sweetness of watching your children grow never ceases to amaze. Now I'll have one more image, one more picture taken with my heart that will remain...until forever.