Precious Tears

Precious Tears

“You’re going to cry again, aren’t you?”

It’s a question I hear from my children with some frequency — while we’re watching a moving video together; or when I’m reading a touching book by myself; or when we learn that the parent of one of their classmates has just posted a Facebook message about their genderqueer child’s coming out of the closet, with the clear message that, “I have zero time for haters so send your love and support or shut it. This isn’t political or controversial – this is about a kid who told me she finally doesn’t hate herself.”

And again this morning, as I was all alone in the car, listening to Ta-Nehisi Coates narrating his own book Between the World and Me, which is a series of letters to his teenage son – raw, honest, and utterly sobering for this sheltered white woman.

Yes, children, I am going to cry. Again. And again. And again.

I’m going to cry in happiness and in tenderness and in utter relief.

I’m going to cry in anger and in love and because I’ve laughed so hard that I can’t stop the tears.

I’m going to cry because I miss Bella and your granddad.

I’m going to cry for you, and for me, and for all the broken bodies in our world.

My tears are precious, and so are yours. Let them flow without shame.

For what will you cry?

Paige (aka Mom)

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.
— Isak Dinesen


  1. Holly Leon-Lierman

    Thank you for this reflection. I similarly shed tears quite often. We always tell our kiddos – cry on, it’s salt water and it all goes back to the sea.

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