Where are the Emotions?

Fires in the Treasure Valley have dropped our air quality conditions to poor. My son’s asthma has him wheezing, I’m struggling to breath through my nose, and my husband is coughing. My daughter, thankfully, seems unaffected. But she’s got too much to think about.

She’s in Kindergarten now.

Sometimes I wonder how emotionless I really am. Both my co-workers insisted I’d cry. They both did.

Me? I saw my daughter off on the school bus, drove to the school to make sure she got to class alright, hovered at the edge of class until she was settled in her chair, and then she finally noticed I was there. She smiled and said, “Mama, what are you doing here?” which sounded an awful lot like “Silly Mama, school is for kids, not parents.”

I kissed her forehead, then hurried back to work.

No tears. No swelling realization that kids grow up so fast. Just a confirmation with my husband that he’d be able to pick her up at lunch.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m very proud of her. She’s smart, sociable, and well-behaved. But what kind of mother am I when I don’t get teary eyed over one of life’s milestones? (Then again, I didn’t cry at my wedding either.)

Sometimes I wonder if my own personality is the reason why my characters lack emotion in the earlier drafts. Sometimes, I don’t wonder, I just know. 🙂

Do you get emotional over life events? Does your personality reflect in your characters? Anybody celebrating back to school time?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

21 thoughts on “Where are the Emotions?

  1. What does crying really matter? It doesn’t help your son breathe easier. It might show your children you care for them, but it might just as well bother them and make them worried.

    I don’t have kids, so take my advice with a pinch of salt

    Why would your co-workers insist you cry? What difference does it make? Sure, if you need to cry, do it, and don’t hold it back. But if crying is not for you, then what would be the point? Crying isn’t an emotion, it’s just a side effect or a consequence. Not crying doesn’t mean you don’t care.

  2. I can understand the emotion. Kids grow up so fast and time passes so quickly so I think it’s good to take in the little things in a big way even if it’s only big on the inside of us. We don’t have to necessarily broadcast our feelings for a show for others.

    I guess in a way I’m celebrating back to school because my teacher wife goes back to work. We’ve been having a great time this summer, but I tend to get more personal and home things done when she’s working. It’s a mixed feelings thing with no shedding of tears involved.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  3. Some people just aren’t overly emotional. I’m not. I’m rather even-keeled all the time, no major highs or lows.

  4. Yay for kindergarten! I didn’t cry dropping my son off for his first day either. In fact, he was off into his classroom without even looking over his shoulder at me. I didn’t cry at my wedding either. The Elvis was just too funny! Glad to hear your daughter is doing well. 🙂

  5. I tend to keep my emotions in check, too. I’m sure some people think I’m heartless, but I’m not; I just don’t show everything I’m feeling, at least not in public. I also handle bad news well, though I sometimes fall apart later, when the reality of it sinks in.

    Honestly, I’m more stoic, like our ancestors. Sometimes I think people nowadays are too soft. Buck up and face life, y’all. Sh*t happens! 🙂

  6. They’re here! Over here! I took all the emotions so some (like yourself) can stay sane. I am an overemotional mess. A human-shaped bag of tears waiting to be punctured with books, special occasions, spilled milk… No, really, I envy you.

  7. I’m very similar…unless it comes to animals…I cry just THINKING about animals needing homes…but honestly when it comes to other things I’m surprisingly not emotional, and I’m really not a crier!

  8. I’m definitely emotional about certain things and some things not so much. But that doesn’t mean I always cry. Maybe you didn’t cry but it seems like you showed emotion by doing all those wonderful things you did to check on your daughter. 🙂

  9. Many moms do cry, but I don’t think I would. It’s okay not to be brimming with so many emotions. I think that’s good and much more preferable. I’m the same way..

  10. I didn’t cry when my kids went to school. I’ve had a few tears over really proud moments. Some things affect me and some don’t. It all depends on the situation. Yes, my personality does show up in my characters sometimes, whether I want it to or not. And yes, I’m celebrating back to school. Now maybe I can have a little more writing time.

  11. I get emotional very easily and I would be emotional in your situation, even though I’ve never had kids, as such.

    However, I know what you must be going through – at least with the air quality. My step kids and grand-kids live in the Treasure Valley, around Boise, and I have an equestrian writer friend with horses in the Owyhee Mountains.

    I will be living in that area this time next year as emigrating.

    Or do you live in another Treasure Valley?

  12. I didn’t cry at my wedding either. =) We actually just chatted it up through the whole thing. I mean, it’s hard to just stand there and stare into each other’s eyes while a five minute song plays. When we tried, we both started cracking up. I also didn’t cry when I dropped my son off at my mother-in-laws for my first day back at work after maternity leave. And being a stay-at-home mom is the thing I want most in the world. But I sure do tear up over stories, movies, and commercials. Go figure!

  13. I guess I’d say you’re confident about the job you done as Mom! Good for you and good for her, too.

  14. I’ve run into similar situations in my own writing. Not only do I tend to keep my emotions bottled at best, non-existent at worst, but I also tend to be very short and to the point. I often have to go back and fix these to provide my characters a wider range of personality.

  15. So, I cry at commercials. A lot. We’re all different. We all respond to things… differently. Doesn’t make us any better or worse than the next person. You do what feels natural, just like your characters.

    A daughter in kindergarten? Yay!
    A son and husband coughing/not breathing? Boo!

    How’s the hubby’s job search/getting going?

  16. Being over-emotional can cloud judgement, especially when it comes to important decision-making moments.
    Keeping your emotions in check doesn’t mean you are cold and unfeeling. It simply means that you’ve learned to manage them.

  17. I’ll get teary-eyed over commercials and video clips at the drop of the hat, but when it comes to my family, they’re a pretty stoic bunch, so I keep that tendency under wraps around them. As for the smoke, I am celebrating the air alert finally going back to yellow. I will finally be able to go jogging again tomorrow morning, so YAY! I do have mild asthma and it hardly ever bugs me, but all this smoke has beat my lungs up lately.

  18. I tend not to get emotional when things are happening, but later on, when it really hits me, that’s when it happens. I handled a major cross-country move completely by myself earlier this year, got everything taken care of without much trouble, and just felt stressed. But once I was here in my new apartment and trying to eat dinner for the first time, it all hit me, and I broke down and cried. Cried again when I was talking to my mom that night.

    Things like this are probably why I have to make sure my characters have appropriate emotional reactions in my stories, as things are happening, because they can’t all be like me and not react as much until it’s over. >_<

  19. TB Markinson

    For me, the fact that you made sure everything was okay is the most important. Some people are criers. Others aren’t. No big deal, really.

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