Just as laughter can be rich-belly-laughter, so can tears come in a way that you know they are from deep within one’s soul.
Kate had those kind of tears a few mornings ago. And I had to pull the minivan off the road just to hug her and hold her.
We were on our way to drop Luke off at middle school. Which is always a feat to get the three of them out the door that early.
Not more than a minute in, Ryan started to annoy Kate. (But of course, what else are car rides with kids for?) And she told him to stop. He liked the rise he was getting out of her, especially as her pitch rose and her passion ensued. He was smiling (I could feel it) and relishing in his pestering of her.
And then she broke. She started crying and yelling at him to stop. And it was primal and guttural.
Not the whiny-crying.
Not the manipulating-crying.
Not the baby-in-the-family-type-of-crying.
It was grief.
It was hurt.
It was disappointment.
It was anger.
It was sadness.
It came from a deep place, and she could no longer squash it and just be the sweet, motherly sister who cares dearly and is so uber protective of her older-and-younger-brother, Ryan.
All about Ryan, and having “special needs” that she wished he didn’t have. And wished nobody knew about.
I pulled over to the side of Grayslake Road. I did not care one bit if we were running late. Kate needed me. She NEEDED a hug. She needed everything to just stop, for one bless-ed moment, so she could be comforted. By me.
I slid open the van door and just swooped around her little body. I held her tight. And I held in MY TEARS so tightly.
She then whispered as our heads were so close to each other, “I love you, Mom, I love you.” As if to say, “thank you for validating my tears, and EVERY SINGLE THING I am feeling right now.”
It was a morning that started out like every rushed, hectic before-school chaotic morning. Unremarkable. The usual.
But that moment with Kate, I will never forget.