A Future Letter from Your Crying Child

These are human tears under a microscope: Joy, Sadness and Onion-inspired.

These are human tears under a microscope: Joy, Sadness and Onion-inspired.

Today, I had a story run in Brain, Child that doesn’t fit this mold. It’s a satire piece, a “Future Letter from Your Crying Child,” inspired by the Worst Blog Ever, “Reasons My Kid is Crying.” If you haven’t seen that blog, you don’t need to go there. Basically, it’s a user-generated site where parents can post pictures of their crying children along with the sometimes inane reasons why they are crying. Now there’s a book coming out. Imagine that — you send pictures of your crying child to a stranger’s website and they get a book deal out of it.

Notice I used the word “Child,” while the post that inspired this bit of satire  said “Kid.” I do think there is a difference. Kid implies a certain distance from the subject, doesn’t it?

I have a single picture of my first son crying. He was taking his first bath, so we were trying to get pictures to capture the moment. His crying was a sign of my inexperience. I soon learned the value in putting a towel down to hold him in the baby tub so he felt safer.

My son certainly gave me enough opportunity to take pictures of crying. It’s not like he wasn’t, at least to me, the cryingist baby in the history of babies. So why don’t I have any more pictures of him crying?  It’s not like I’ve white-washed our history together. I know him. He is five and his cries still send tingles down my arm.

But here’s the thing. If he’s crying, then I’m holding a camera, not him. If I know what made him cry, thank freakin’ God because then usually I can do something about it. I’m not always going to have that kind of power.



5 thoughts on “A Future Letter from Your Crying Child

  1. dinnersforwinners says:

    Ahh! The petunias. Such a great article, Emily! Tongue-in-cheek, maybe, but a compelling point. Same group with those parents who humiliate their children publicly (or online, or both) as a form of punishment: “I smoked pot and skipped school and now I have to wear this sandwich sign”….. that whole disasterous thing, ugh.

    When I saw those different kinds of tears under a microscope I was so fascinated! I like the ones you chose for this story.


  2. Angela @ Cottage Magpie says:

    Fantastic piece! I’m always so sad when I see those pictures. It’s like my brain can’t process it. How is it possible that this parent thought it was more important to take that picture (or video) instead of comfort their child? I mean, I get frustration and all. I’ve had days with my 4yo where I needed to just let her cry. But I didn’t videotape it. It’s not whitewashing to leave that part out, it’s just a function of love. You can’t hug and hold a camera at the same time. xo, ~Angela~


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s