of leaky eyes and privacy

Ed note: Before I write anything this morning, I have to acknowledge your incredible comments on yesterday’s post. As I wrote on Diary’s Facebook page, 

I don’t have the words to thank you all for your support today. (And I always have words.) But I’ve got nothing big enough, broad enough, deep enough to tell you how blessed I feel by this community, by each and every one of you, who come here to laugh with me, learn with me, celebrate with me, cry with me, fight, scrap, claw and pray with me day in and day out. Your words lifted me today. Your presence here lifts me every day.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

And now, we return to our regular programming. 

It is well known that I am a crier. In fact, I come from a long line of criers. My Grandma says we come by it honestly. She calls it Leaky Eye Syndrome and says that it’s clearly genetic. I knew that I’d passed it onto Katie when, at age two, I took her to see Finding Nemo and she cried through the entire movie while wailing, “He can’t find his Daddy!”

The fact that she shares the affliction doesn’t stop her, however, from teasing her mama. And why should it? (She comes by that honestly too.) Anyway, case in point: this video that she made on Christmas Eve, 2011.

Yeah, really. It’s that bad.

On Sunday morning, I asked Katie if I could share a story on Diary. It wasn’t really about her, but it involved her, and, as you all know by now, I don’t share anything about the girls without their permission. She said no, as she typically does lately and, well, that was that.

Later in the day, I said, “Katie, I want to talk to you about something. It’s just .. well, I need to make sure that someday, when you read Diary, you’ll know that the only reason why you’re dramatically underrepresented for a pretty significant period of time is because you didn’t want me to write about you. I just don’t ever want you to think that …”

“Mama,” she said, cutting me off, “why are you saying this?”

“It’s just, well, it’s so important to me to respect your privacy and your right to decide what you’re comfortable sharing and not sharing. But because of that, I really don’t talk about you very much on the blog anymore because you usually tell me that you’d rather I not share stuff. Which is totally and completely – seriously 100% – fine. I just worry that you’ll read it someday and say, “Where was I?” I never want you to think that I didn’t write about you because I didn’t want to. I’m just so proud of you and I want to tell the world every damn awesome thing that you do, but, well, my respect for you will always, always trump my desire to crow about you. I just love you so much. I just needed you to know all that.”

“It’s not that I don’t want you to write about me,” she said. “I just get uncomfortable when you ASK me if it’s okay. It’s okay. Just please stop asking.”

“Wait,” I said, “so it’s just me asking you the question that makes you uncomfortable, but it’s okay to write about you?”

“Mama,” she said, “that’s what I just said. Can we please stop talking about this?”

“Of course,” I said, “but I want to make sure that I completely understand. It might mean that THIS conversation is uncomfortable, but then we don’t have to have it again, cool?”


“So you’re alright with me sharing stories about you, as long as I don’t ask you first?”


“Well, okay then,” I said, once again reminded of the futility of trying to find logic in that which has nothing to do with logic, a lesson offered daily by this almost teen of mine.

“I’m glad we talked about it, babe,” I said. “I just want you to be comfortable with all of it. That’s more important to me that anything else.”

“Mama,” she said, “can we talk about something else now?”

“Oh my gosh, Katie,” I asked, somewhat panicked, “why are you crying?”

“I have no idea,” she said. “Why are YOU crying?”

I hadn’t realized that I was.

“I don’t know either,” I said.

We both laughed. And there we were, laughing through tears, laughing at our tears, and finally, just laughing.

“Mama?” she said.

“Yes, kiddo?”

“You can totally write about this.”

“Ha,” I said. “Will do.”

10 thoughts on “of leaky eyes and privacy

  1. As the often leaky eyed Grammy (as you well know) I also have to take some genetic responsibility for the leaky eyed gene and, of course, the short one! You two, however, are hysterical.

    Love you,

  2. L. O. L. – Um, yeah. I can totally relate 😉 For example: spoilers re. the Avengers – stop reading if you haven’t seen it and plan to.

    I cried when the Hulk saved Iron Man. Seriously.

  3. Lol the video was great…i used to make fun of my mom…she’d cry at the long distance commercials, and coffee commercials, and movies…and well everything. I never cried even when I needed to. But as i got older the gene kicked in i suppose…especially anything involving kids. Her dang allergies made an appearance too…thanks mom :/ lol

  4. My leaky eye syndrome didnt start until parenthood. I tried to watch Finding Nemo while pregnant. My husband turned it off because I could not. stop. crying.

  5. I not only have leaky eye syndrome and laugh-til-I-cry syndrome, I go one step further and do the laugh so hard and then bawl my eyes out emotional pressure release. Yeah, that’s a pretty sight!
    Glad you got things straight with Katie…teen girls are fun, huh?!?

  6. Loved this video clip. Made me laugh out loud. Especially when she said, “it’s a plan…” Too, too funny. It’s almost scary how closely our kids are watching!

  7. Oh…I loved this!!! My favorite….”Oh, it is a plant….tears…tears…and crying” Katie’s words are so much like my Margaret-Ann’s words, “Ma Ma can we just stop talking about it now…ok” My therapist that I see on a regular basis has told me many times, “Cheairs it’s the adults who have the need to keep talking and “checking in” on things. As adults we think that our kids need this. In reality they don’t.” She has told me, “Listen to Margaret-Ann she will give you every cue you need if she wants to continue the conversation. She will crack the door when she wants to let you in and when she is finished talking about a subject she will shift the conversation.” I did not really believe this at first, but by golly she is totally right. It is the adults who get “stuck”. I hope this makes sense. Please tell Katie that I loved the video. Totally made my day. Thank you!

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