We all have our triggers, and I have my emotional moments, but I found myself crying today and feeling embarrassed about it. While I went through yet another box of odds and ends (we're in the process of moving), trying to figure out where to put everything, I watched What to Expect When You're Expecting on Netflix. At the end, I cried. Not just a few tears down the cheeks, either. There were cough-to-hide-the-sob moments.
I'd like to blame it on the stress of moving, or the emotional drain caused by reading my editor's comments on my latest manuscript (I think he must have found a way to digitally slit a wrist into a Word file). If I'm honest, though, the movie just found one of my emotional triggers. Without the stress in my life, I still would have had to hold back the tears. I have five kids. If I watch a movie about the ups and downs of pregnancy and the beauty of childbirth, I'm going to get emotional. Even the adoption scene got to me, because I just love the joy children bring and the sacred trust we take when we bring them into the world and promise to care for them.
It's worth it to have these moments. There are times when I cry with joy, times when I cry from pain. In the end, I draw on these emotions when I write about my characters. I hope it makes them more real and they can remind us of the things that matter most, whether trials include CSF-draining aliens or just moving a bunch of boxes from one house to another. We will find a way to prevail, and we must always believe in that strength.