Yesterday I was getting the kids ready for church, which was pretty much a catastrophe because it was daylight savings time (and not the good one where we gain an hour) and Marshall had to go to church to do sound, leaving me alone with all the kids. All the same, I managed to press grade 4A hair, whip up a hot breakfast to everyone’s liking and shave my beard.
Nadjah had to go to Douche Bag’s house for her visit, so instead of a pretty spring dress, I laid out jeans, and white t-shirt with a bejeweled crown on the front and her Sketchers Twinkle Toes. She would look street chic.
“Go upstairs on put on your clothes Na,” I instructed. “I put some jeans on the bed.”
She groaned and began to pout. I didn’t care.
There’s only one thing in the world that my daughter hates more than to wear a pair of pants, and that is to wear a pair of jeans. Unfortunately for her, I was in no mood to consider her opposition to what she was going to wear that day. That’s what the weather dictated. Plus, I come from a culture where you used to look forward to wearing jeans when you were a kid. She stomped off upstairs.
A few minutes later, I followed behind to go get a diaper for one of the babies, and saw her standing by my bed weeping.
“What are you crying for?” I snapped.
“I—“, she began. I cut her off.
“You’re crying because you have to wear jeans?”
Big tears rolled down her face. I felt compelled to put things in perspective for her.
“If I beat you – that’s a reason to cry,” I said. “If you were hungry and I didn’t give you food – that’s a reason to cry. If I made you sleep on the floor – that’s a reason to cry!”
She continued sniffling.
“Are you hurt?” I asked.
She shook her head.
“Are you bleeding?”
“Is having to put on clean, pretty clothes after you’ve had a big breakfast while watching Cat in the Hat a reason to cry???”
She shook her head a third time.
“Then STOP IT.”
I grabbed the diaper I’d come upstairs for and walked off to let her dress herself.
But then that got me to thinking: How many times do we expend our tears for things that we should very easily be able to get over? Some things are just not worth the dehydration. I can’t pinpoint an example from my personal life (because I’m in this phase where nothing really matters…more on that later), but you get the drift.
If you’re not bleeding, hungry, homeless, or darn near dead: STOP IT.