Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Life

August 4, 2013

WHOLE FAMILY: Go ahead, cry your eyes out at the drop of a hat

Big girls don’t cry. Or do they? My big girl does. She’s 7 years old, a delightful mix of wide-eyed innocence and spicy-hot temperament. During our camping trip last month, she marked among her life’s first-evers the painting of her toenails a delicate, pale pink and the gutting and fileting of a juicy bluegill.

I love that about her. She’s a potpourri of a person, a girl who loves sparkly shoes and frog hunting, willowy dancing and climbing trees, sweet snacks and Tabasco on her eggs. In her potpourri personality, however, is a trait — or a habit or a tendency, I don’t know what — that makes her cry at the drop of a hat. And I mean that literally. I have actually said things like, “Eliana, dropping your hat is no reason to cry.”

She’s a big girl, and she cries all the time.

I guess I shouldn’t write “all the time,” but from this fairly un-emotive person’s perspective, it seems like a lotta crying.

When she was a toddler, she’d wake up from a nap and cry. Today she cries when someone mistreats her; she cries when she’s frustrated; she cries when she realizes she’s done something wrong.

I’m wondering about this crying because it’s a mystery I haven’t solved — not really. Sure, I cry when I feel like it, and sometimes I feel like it more than others, but I don’t cry — or hug, but that’s another matter — all that often. I’m too practical. But to be a tolerant and helpful mother to my big girl who does cry, I should try to understand.

LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE we human do, crying is based in science, in biology and physiology. So first know your eyes are meant to be wet and to leak. For one, it’s how they stay clean and moist round the clock. When you blink, you spread a nice wet and oily substance over your eyes. Second, your body is designed to tear up when the wind hits your face, when allergies come knocking or when something like sand or sawdust irritates your peepers. That’s a defense mechanism, and it’s pretty cool.

None of that is emotional crying. It’s everyday wetness and tearing aimed at homeostasis.

But then we humans — and scientists largely conclude only humans do this — produce and release tears in response to emotions. There are neuronal and hormonal — brain and hormones — reactions that occur inside and take us, in fractions of seconds, from feeling something deeply to crying about it.

It is amazing how it happens, and, like I think so often, I wish I had some sort of microscopic x-ray vision to watch the process in action. Think about how strong it is when you cry. Ever felt yourself about to blubber and tried to stop it? Most of us can, but it takes some work, right? You have to think about something else, talk yourself down, leave the room and pat your eyes with cold water, willing them to stop?

By the way, unless I really have to, I don’t do that anymore. I just let the tears come.

You know why? Tears — emotional tears — have more than just proteins and oil and that always-there salt in them. Our emotional tears have some 80 ingredients in them, many HORMONES, some enzymes even. They’re a super-cool substance scientists theorize is designed to do everything from soften our enemies’ hearts toward us to release toxins from our bodies to reduce our pain and improve our mood.

Ever felt that mixture of exhausted, but pleasantly so, after a good, hard cry? Those tears helped bring that about, no doubt. Crying serves a purpose, and if we were mean to “don’t cry,” I doubt our bodies would work this way. So cry on, I suppose.

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Life
  • THE PLAIN SIDE:Government reflects us

    Driver Ken said it game him goose bumps. I can see why. We are standing in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. This is the room where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, the aged Benjamin Franklin, and all those other founding fathers stood. All at once.

    August 23, 2014

  • RELIGION BRIEFS: Aug. 23, 2014 Gordon Jensen, international evangelist, gospel singer and songwriter, will be at Northwood Chapel Aug. 24. He will sing and preach at the 11 a.m. worship service and again at the 6 p.m. evening service. Jensen has written songs such as “Redemption Draweth Nigh,” “He’s as Close as The Mention Of His Name” and “Written In Red.” The church is located at 28220 C.R. 52, Nappanee, one mile north of Nappanee on Ind. 19 and 1/4 mile west on C.R. 52. Those with questions may call 773-3509 or 773-7895.

    August 23, 2014

  • GLOBAL FAITHS: Syria tops list of Christian martyrdom in Pew study Last week’s Global Faiths column discussed the world’s most “church destroying” countries. It invites a look at those countries of the world where it’s hardest to be a Christian. The countries on these two lists are not the same, though the lists may overlap. “The top 10 nations ‘where Christians faced the most pressure and violence [in 2013] were North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen’” (www.Christianity today.com/gleanings). North Korea has the dubious distinction of remaining at the top of this list for 10 years now.

    August 23, 2014

  • PASTOR'S PEN: How was the soul of America's funny man? Goodbye Robin Williams. Are you kiddin’ me!? I grew up on Mork and Mindy! I had never laughed before at the things Robin Williams made me laugh about. That’s because there had never been one like him before. As the old Rod Stewart song goes, his “ad-lib lines were well rehearsed.”

    August 23, 2014

  • CLUB NEWS Goshen Noon Kiwanis Meeting date: Aug. 19 Awards/recognition: Ron Altenhof and Hugh Reinhold, greeters; John Huber, song leader; Ron Schultz, pledge; Bryan Mierau, invocation; Angela Black, guest. Perfect attendance award winners were Tim Doyle, 25 y

    August 22, 2014

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    August 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • PUBLIC RECORD Marriage license The following marriage licenses were filed in Elkhart County: Trevor J. Milliken, 22, and Emily A. Wagoner, 22, both of 71074 Conrad Road, Niles, Mich. Zachary M. Cox, 25, and Mashala K. Short, 21, both of 487 Brookside Manor, Goshen

    August 22, 2014

  • Lifelong Learning fall courses announced GOSHEN — The Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County is offering fall courses. These short courses are designed to provide stimulating and affordable classes in many fields for active seniors. There are no tests or grades, and no previous studies or degrees are required.

    August 22, 2014

  • 2014 Junior Lawn and Garden.jpg LaGrange County youth finish well at tractor contest LAGRANGE — With all of its four contestants delivering competitive performances, the LaGrange County 4-H Tractor program continued its tradition of achievement in the annual Purdue Area XI 4-H Tractor Contest July 26 at the LaGrange County 4-H Fairgrounds.

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • CORRECTION: Outdoor worship, barbecue at Goshen Christian Reformed Church not happening It was incorrectly reported in Wednesday's edition — the Briefly column on A3 — that Goshen Christian Reformed Church was to have an outdoor worship service and barbecue Thursday through Saturday. The event was submitted by a church with the same nam

    August 21, 2014

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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