He coyly poked his head past the frame of his bedroom door and peeked down the stairs.
“Mommy?” his tiny voice tentatively asked. It was just above a whisper, barely carrying its way to my ears.
I stood at the bottom of the stairs peering up at him and replied, “Yes, Baby?”
“You need to come wipe my tears,” he whimpered.
Big emotions had filled his small three-year-old heart and almost instantaneously flooded his eyes with great big tears. He had been crying for a few minutes before he called to me.
I started up the stairs, and when I reached him, I leaned my face in close to his, gaining an intimate view of his tears. Their streaks glistened on his cheeks revealing paths that resembled tiny streams. Each eye held a tear so large that it filled half his eye and threatened to fall with the slightest movement. But his eyes held my gaze, and so they remained half full of tears.
With my thumbs I gently wiped his tears from his eyes. I cupped his small face in my hands and ran my them across his babysoft skin, wiping the rest away, but he could still feel the evidence of their wet presence.
“Mommy there’s still more.”
This time, I pulled the bottom of my soft, cotton shirt to his face to soak up every last droplet. (After all, isn’t this what a momma’s shirt is for–to collect tears and boogers and all the toddler things as though it were a napkin?).
By now his whimpers turned to soft sniffles. His soul calming with the wiping and drying of his tears.
This routine started a couple of months ago and has now become a familiar scene in our home, an expectation he has of me.
It’s not until I’ve come and wiped every tear droplet dry that his soul truly rests.
Can I be honest for a minute?
Even though the tears and crying look different as an adult, I still have an inner longing to be seen and loved just like this.
As much as I refuse to cry in front of others, there’s this desire inside of me for my unseen tears to be seen, to know they matter.
If we’re honest, I think we all want someone to come to us like this: to see our tears and the pain behind them, to touch them, and to lovingly wipe them away.