Why am I crying watching XFactor?

Get a hold of yourself!!The camera shot switches from the judges stunned faces, to the grin of the 14 year old girl who has just “nailed” a Beatles classic and there it is, the next shot that brings the lump into my throat, a little moisture to my eye. It’s the shot of a proud dad watching his daughter out there doing something she loves as best as she can. It’s then when the thought hit me; “..it’s XFactor! Get a hold of yourself”.

Much to the disappointment of my wife, I’ve not been much for emotional displays, especially in the tears department. In short, I don’t cry. Major events have passed without my tears; my wedding, funerals, finding out about my first child being conceived and sitting through The Notebook. Basically it’s just not something I’ve done a lot, until 2 and a bit years ago.

Like many, many dads out there, my first grown up tears came at the birth of my daughter 2 years ago which, in itself, is not a big surprise. What has been surprising is the frequency of welling moments since and what “sets me off”.

So back to XFactor. I should start by saying that I don’t like the show. I think it’s a bit contrived, takes advantage of talented, inexperienced but enthusiastic people and the music they play doesn’t really appeal to my post-grunge, guitar-driven leanings. But this particular night put a lump in my throat three times (one of them for the gay Dad who was singing to make his estranged children proud of him).

So I now find myself asking what’s happened? Obviously a child, but what else has happened to my “steely exterior” (for those that know me I know it’s not or ever has been steely but it sounded good). Well, I think I’ve found the answer… in my father in law.

My father in law is a tough “steely guy”. He’s lived an exciting life, made both good and bad choices, comes from a corporate, business background and even though long retired still runs his life like the executive he was. I’ve seen him negotiate a deal like a shark, manage his apartment block with military precision, coordinate his complex and unpredictable family all the while acting as the “go to” man for any crisis, advice or household handyman task. He’s a man’s man complete with moustache until his daughter (my wife) is involved. Every significant life event that she has had (that I have been around for) has resulted in my father in law descending into tears. Me proposing – tears, us deciding to go to the UK to live – tears, us actually living in the UK – tears, moving back to Australia, getting pregnant, having daughter number 1, getting pregnant again – tears, tears tears.

So what is it? Well, I think it’s pride. It’s the feeling my father in law gets when he sees his little girl all grown up doing amazing things amazingly well. It’s no different to the XFactor Dad watching his daughter or the Dad I saw at the park the other day teaching his son to ride a bike for the first time. It’s like me watching my daughter fly around on her scooter without me helping or pedal her tricycle down the driveway without me pushing.

So, my challenge is to try and embrace it. Try not to fight the feeling and just go with it, letting my “no cry record” slip away.

What makes you proud? What does proud look like for you? When did you last get a lump?

One last thing: According to my wife, there’s good odds my Father in Law is going to cry when he reads this.

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22 Responses to Why am I crying watching XFactor?

  1. Oh this made me chuckle. I am amazed by what makes me cry now that I’m a mother. Thing I probably wouldn’t have even noticed have me blubbing!

  2. Haha! I always cry over shows like the X Factor. My family thinks it’s funny that I have tears rolling down my face. I’m just so bloody proud of those people for getting on stage! I cry the most when they are young people following their dreams. I am a sucker for a “following your dreams” story. Particularly when they’re good and it’s an achievable dream. At least I now know someone else is crying right along side me …
    (Stupid bloody show).
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

  3. I’m the same as Leanne. I always cry too. Empathy for families and clever television producers do that to you.

  4. Renay says:

    i have to admit that the oddest thing that made me cry was the add Bupa add, you know the one where they “meet” their healthier selves? I thought it was just pregnancy hormones, then I thought it was just the old i’ve just had a baby, I cry at everything thing but nope, if the add was on now, I’d b a blubbering mess. oh, and I LOVED the 14 year old singing “Blackbird” too 🙂

  5. Awww. Such a big softy 🙂 My hubby has certainly become more emotional since become a dad.. and I find myself crying at the iPhone ads (you know the ones). My daughter started day care this week and I was so proud at how well she did. She slept well, ate her lunch and had a wonderful time engaging in all activities. PS. Blackbird is one of my favourite Beatles songs. Thanks for sharing at Melting Moments 🙂

  6. kyl21z says:

    My husband has never been much for emotional displays, except on our wedding day. He cried and I didn’t. Everyone likes to pay him out about it but he doesn’t care. When my cousin got married earlier this year he was tearing up and Dave was in heaven and gave him so much shit for it, purely coz my cuz was one of the biggest teasers of him. Weirdly though neither of us cried when Mia was born, I think we were both just too in shock. He was very, very quiet though, and I’ve never seen him look so in awe before. It was great. I tend to cry about anything to do with having babies, especially those shows like One Born Every Minute, that moment they hand the baby to the Mum, I lose it, even though I didn’t cry when they handed my baby to me! And I hate TV talent shows, find them excruciating to watch, mostly because how well they do has nothing to do with their talent and everything to do with their ability to tell a good sob story and turn on the tears. Cynic much?!?!

  7. I seem to tear up at anything emotional on tv.. real life or drama or even when fireman sam rescues people!!! Definitely post-baby hormones at its best!!

  8. Lovely post. I haven’t watched the X-factor however a work colleague told me she balled through the first episode of the new series this week. But she cries at everything.

    I ‘lumped up’ last Sunday afternoon as I headed to meet my firstborn son for coffee. I hadn’t seen him for about 3 weeks (he moved out of home two months ago) and just as I realised how excited I was to be going to spend some time with him, my eyes welled. He’s 22!
    They dried up by the time I got there, I wouldn’t want to embarrass him. I think I’ve done enough of that in 22 years already. 🙂

  9. workingwomenaus says:

    Definitely embrace it! I too find myself welling up at things like that – much to the amusement of my kids!

  10. Great post! I’ve found the same thing happens to me since I became a parent. Tv commercials can now make my cry. My husband? Not so much. I just don’t think he has tear ducts. By no means is he a hard man, just cry free. My father in law though, Sheesh, our children barely have to do a thing to make him cry, its hilarious!

  11. Helen says:

    x factor is highly emotive television, and there are also the sympathy pregnancy hormones…

  12. See I would normally say it’s the hormones still screwing with your system. But, ah, yeah. Hormones by association? Either way, no need to man up – I caught my hubby all misty eyed while looking at a friend’s cat pic on Facebook. Seriously?!

  13. I tend to tear up when I’m hormonal! Happens quite a bit lol

  14. mamagrace71 says:

    What a gorgeous post. I do hope your father-in-law does read it.
    I love it when men cry. My dad is a big sulk. I remember as a kid, I saw cry over “Lassie”.
    Then, I met my husband. He got a little teary when he proposed but man, there were buckets. Made me realise I had made the right choice.
    I cry at a drop of a hat….and this was before I had children. Now, well…let’s just say there’s a continuous well happening.

  15. mamagrace71 says:

    Oops, I was meant to say, “there were buckets when we actually got married” 🙂

  16. dtll says:

    constant blubberer these days.. Mummy hormones I say x

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