The Time I {Almost} Cried at VBS

This morning I dropped my kids off for the fourth day of VBS and a very strange thing happened…I almost cried. I literally choked up while talking to my son’s teacher. Tears threatened to come.

Tips for the Teary Mama |

It’s not like I hadn’t done this before. It’s the FOURTH Day! We’ve done this three days already this week! Every other day has been emotion-free (unless you count relief and exhilaration at the triumph of finally getting everyone to their classes with relatively little screaming…and by “relatively little” I mean nothing that would get family services called on me.)

It’s not like this is the first time I’d left my kids somewhere…my son has been in preschool twice a week for the last two years! And my daughter has just finished her third year in public school…7 hours a day, 5 days a week! I should be a pro at this.

But this morning, something in me snapped. It started when my little guy saw a friend from his class and got all excited.

“Mama, that’s my friend! Can we go to my class right now? I want to see my friend!” (Never mind the fact that he did not know the other boy’s name.)

This is the same boy who, just yesterday, asked if I would “stay in the building” the whole time he’s in class. Now he was chomping at the bit to go to class with no mention of me waiting close by for the entire morning.

So off to his class we went. He marched right in like he knew what he was doing. That’s when his teacher said to me, “We love him. He is just so sweet.”

And cue the waterworks.

My voice cracked a little as I thanked her, and I blinked away the tears all the way to the parking lot. I. don’t. know. why. I’m not usually “that mom” (well, except for the first day of kindergarten, but isn’t everyone weepy on the first day of kindergarten?).

I have been talking big lately about my youngest going to school. Wondering out loud if I’m “weird” because I’m not on the verge of depression like my other friends who are sending their youngest off to school. I’m not lamenting that “I won’t know what to do” (I’ve got a list that fills a notebook, people) or that “I might cry all day” (I’ll cry, but I’ll be OK by about 9:30).

Then I go and tear up ON THE FOURTH DAY OF VBS?!?!? That’s just craziness! So, while I was trying to figure out WHAT IN THE WORLD is wrong with me, God gently reminded me of a few things (love when He does that!).

First, let’s just pretend for a moment that hormones have nothing to do with it. (I’m not saying it did. I’m not saying it didn’t. Let just take them out of the equation and look at a “regular” day…like the fourth day of VBS).

1.  God has wired us to love passionately and feel deeply. That is why the same woman can weep over the sweet smell of a freshly bathed newborn (we love passionately) and weep tears that are just as real (maybe more so) when that same newborn won’t sleep longer than 30 minutes in five days (we feel the desperation deeply).

I’m confident my husband has never teared up when dropping off either of our children…anywhere. He loves them just as much as I do. But God has wired him to show that love entirely differently. (Although he may or may not have cried when they were born…just sayin’).

2. God has woven into us the gift of nurturing. I can’t speak for every woman, but when I had children something happened inside me. Suddenly I was responsible for this tiny, little being and the full weight of responsibility came down on me. I worried about what they were eating, how much they were sleeping, how they were developing, and anything else that I could think to worry about.

I would venture to guess even women who claim they “are not nurturers” discover a certain level of nurturing when they are tasked with caring for another living being.

That’s why it ripped my heart out today when my son, whom I’ve been secretly praying would begin to show some independence, let go of my hand and marched right into a classroom of his “friends.” That why you’ll see my inner Mama Bear come out if you mess with one of my kids. That’s why, as much as I long for a reprieve from parenting sometimes, I miss them like crazy when they’re gone.

So, for all my fellow Mamas out there, wave your hankies proudly in the air as you march your kids into VBS (or the first day of school in a couple of months). Those tears are nothing to be ashamed of. They are a badge of honor. Wear them proudly, because they show the world that you love your kids passionately and feel deeply the sting of their tiny steps toward independence.

And to the rest of you, I simply say, we are not crazy. We are Mamas; see us cry.

29 thoughts on “The Time I {Almost} Cried at VBS

  1. I had to laugh about Little Man’s new friend, that he did not know the name of …that was my son for years. He would tell me all about new friends, but never knew any of their names. For some reason it didn’t seem to matter…haha

    I totally get those random emotional moments (not that I’m not emotional at non-random moments, too, I’m a virtual waterworks at any given moment!). Mamas are just that way:)

    1. I don’t know if it’s a boy thing or what, but it takes him FOREVER to remember names of friends! I guess there’s too much other stuff to take in! (P.S. I may or may not have teared a little again today…who am I?!?!) 🙂

  2. I can totally relate to your post! Mine are both under 2 and I am already familiar with these feelings. I never knew loving these little people would tear my emotions into pieces like they do!

  3. We are in the same boat, Sister. I am quite emotional on a regular basis, but thinking of dropping off my baby (my baaaabyyy!!) will get the waterworks going every time.

  4. “Wave your hankies proudly.” I love it! Motherhood brings out the strongest of emotions in us. I’m a year out from having the babies of the family in school, but just the thought of being alone in the house on a regular basis for the first time in over 13 years has me in a state of emotional confusion. Some days, I just can’t wait, and others I wish that moment would never come. Sigh.. 🙂

  5. LOL I teared up just reading this!

    I have folks in my circles of friends/acquaintances always talking down about women and our emotions. And I always respond that God wired us that way!! We are the nurturers and the comforters. We are meant to feel things deeply.

    I am a HUGE crier. Just thinking about an emotional situation is enough to make me cry – forget about actually going through it!

    {Visiting from Fellowship Fridays. And officially following via BlogLovin}

    1. So true, Vanessa! I’m glad you joined from Fellowship Fridays, and so glad you’re following now! Hope to “see” more of you in the future!

  6. Nancy, I can completely relate with you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started tearing up when I least expected it. One time was while reading a Fancy Nancy book to my four year old. Totally felt like a crazy mom. Lol!

  7. The tears don’t end (praise God)….when they get baptized…walk down the marriage aisle….onthe way to labor and delivery for their first child… and just yesterday helping our youngest move into their first house… Wonderful post!

    1. Thanks for the warning, Laura Anne! I’ll be sure to keep the tissues handy in the coming years. I’m so glad you dropped in to say “hi!”

  8. This is a great post. I talk big, too (or at least I think big), believing that when my oldest starts pre-k in the fall, the clouds will part and the sun will come shining through (Yes! A little bit of a break – 2 kids instead of 3!). But I wonder if that will all change once school starts and she’s no longer home with us in the mornings. It’s kind of a weird thought.

    1. Be ready, Sarah! I did OK when my oldest started kindergarten until I saw another mom blubbering. Then it was all over!!! It’s definitely an adjustment! Thank you so much for stopping by!

  9. Good post for me tonight as I’m pretty sure I’m going to tear up tomorrow watching my daughter run her first 5k after lots of setbacks and diligent training. 🙂

  10. I just have to say that I can totally relate to the fact that I will likely only cry a little when I {finally} send my sweet boys off to preschool this fall. Also, that I love this post. Visiting today via Jellibean Journals. Happy Fourth!

  11. I loved this because, as a mom, I “get” it! I remember when our eldest got his driver’s license. I remember watching him drive away with our other son in the car.

    I turned to my husband and said “There goes my heart” and my husband said “What do you mean?” He just didn’t get it and I had to explain to him. “Hellllooooo, those are our children driving away in the car!” Hubby’s response? “They’ll be fine.” Lol!

    Thanks for linking up to the “Making Your Home Sing Monday” linky party! 🙂

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