My mother can be a very no-nonsense, strict and often blunt person. She is nice but prefers to say how things are instead of beating around any bushes. She also often appears to have little sympathy for others although in her old(er) age now, I think her understanding side is becoming more apparent. Anyway, because of all the above, my brother has often told her that she has a heart of stone.
And now, thirty three years and two children later, I'm diagnosing myself with the same affliction : Heart of Stone.
In the past few days I have witnessed what would have been heart wrenching crying from both the six week old and the three year old. There was always a "legitimate" reason like the baby being strapped down in the car for too long or Aaron pleading with me not to send him into the pool for swim lessons because he was afraid of putting his head in the water.
I did my best to calm the baby in the car and even stopped to offer a quick feed but nothing soothed him. Yet, as I sat there, looking at his helpless little face, I 'felt' for him but it didn't really upset me or make me want to cry with him. I really needed to get where we were going. And there was nothing else I could do.
At the swim school, the teacher kept saying "Mom, you have to be strong. When I tell you to go, you have to leave and go outside where he can't see you." She kept assuring me that it was hard to do but she would take good care of my son. Yet again, when Aaron was crying loudly at the side of the pool and the teacher felt she could work with him better if I was out of sight, I didn't have any problems leaving. Didn't need to be strong or anything. He was genuinely terrified of what he thought was coming up in the lesson. But his teacher was right and he did settle down to a good lesson.
I'm not saying that I heartlessly leave my children to cry all the time but at the times I felt I needed to, it wasn't that hard to do. Shouldn't I have more feeling for them when they are so obviously distressed? Or maybe its an efficient way to cope with difficult situations. No sense in all of us crying is there? Or maybe its just preparation for the teenage years?