Sunday, November 23, 2008


This morning as we were getting ready for church, I heard Aleita asking Chris what "happy tears" were. I am not sure where she heard the phrase, but for some reason, it had intrigued her. When Chris explained to her that even though people usually cry when they're sad, that sometimes, people are so happy that they cry and those are "happy tears."

She then wandered into the bedroom where I was getting dressed and told me that she had never cried happy tears. "Have you ever cried happy tears?" she asked.

I smiled as I recalled happy tears that I have shed. I told her that she probably wouldn't cry happy tears until she was a little older. I told her that the day I married Daddy, I cried happy tears. I told her that the first time I held her and Maggie at the hospital, I cried happy tears. I told her that the day we adopted each of them, when the judge declared the adoption granted, I cried happy tears then as well. I also explained that sometimes I have laughed really, really hard and that made my cry happy tears too. (She then inquired if I cried "happy tears" on the day that we brought the dogs home as well. I assured her that though I was indeed happy at bringing the dogs home as little puppies, that it wasn't quite a tear-inducing moment for me.)

Thinking about this reminded me of an article I read several months ago about tears and crying. I looked it up online to refresh my memory after all the talk about happy tears with Aleita. The basic gist of it is that scientists found that "happy tears" and "sad tears" have two very different chemical compositions. They found that happy tears are pretty much just brine and water - saltwater, basically. But they found that sad or angry tears contained chemicals and enzymes that the happy tears did not. The scientists concluded that in addition to the hormonal or stress release that can be felt after a "good cry" when you're hurting, it is also beneficial because it assists the body in flushing toxins out of your system. Interesting, huh?

Apparently whoever told little boys that they shouldn't cry didn't know what they were talking about!

the first time I held Aleita at the hospital when she was born


kristin said...

Becky, you look so young in this picture. Not that you look old now, know what I mean.

papadale said...

Being observant and inquisitive are two traits that are shared commonly among all my Grandchildren. Amazement and gratitude are two traits shared by Grandma Mary and myself on a daily basis.

Nansola said...

Reading that gave me happy tears :).