In the past month, I've cried in the middle of two card games.
I thought that “emotional, hormonal mess” was one of those guaranteed items on the list of pregnancy symptoms, right along with growing belly. And I thought that I would be worse than most, since my PMS hormones have been known to make me cry over a B on a high school test or something even less significant.
And while I can't honestly claim that I don't have more mood swings now than I did when I wasn't pregnant (I could see my husband's reaction to that little white lie…), they haven't been nearly to the degree that I expected. Sure, I've cried at some inopportune moments like in the middle of a card game or two, but I had some fairly good reasons to be crying. I've even had some pretty good reasons to cry (like a dog getting hit by a car right by my house) that didn't even make my eyes water.
The problem is that if I start crying, I can't stop.
About a month ago, my friend (who was the Maid of Honor in my wedding) married my husband's friend (who was the Best Man in our wedding). As happy as I was for them to (finally!) be together, it also meant one of my closest friends would be moving about 3,000 miles away to where her new husband serves in the Air Force. And I felt like the scene in those children's movies where the kid next door moves away, and I was left standing in the middle of the street, waving until I could no longer see the car.
On the day before they began their trek back to Arizona, the four of us got together for one last game of Euchre, something we've done nearly every time we've hung out together. About halfway through the game, prompted by nothing but trying to hold back the tears all day and some joking among friends, the tears started. And kept going through several hands, even though I was laughing at points, the waterworks were still coming. It took every ounce of control to keep the tears away when we actually hugged goodbye, because without jokes and cards to district me, the tears would have kept going for hours.
Fast forward to last weekend on a two-day camping trip with my family, stuck inside my parent's camper with some late evening rain. Playing Phase 10 with my husband, parents and brother, I found tears rolling down my cheeks again—and this time no one was moving 3,000 miles away. I made a rather dumb joke about my Mom's cards, that I (and nearly everyone else around the table) didn't think was too awfully funny (though maybe awful is a good description). But my Mom started cracking up. And then I started laughing at how hard she was laughing, until I was wiping away tears and my mom was chuckling even harder because I was crying.
And just like playing Euchre a month ago, it took several minutes (and an extreme amount of effort) to get the tears and then the burning in my eyes like I could cry again at any second to quit. I think if someone would have said something remotely nice or teasingly mean to me at that moment, I would have started crying again.
I guess if pregnancy hormones are going to induce some public tears, I would rather share those moments with my friends and family than with strangers in a grocery store or restaurant. Because then at least it is something to laugh about later, unless of course it makes me laugh so hard I start to cry again…