Sigh. It's one of those words that makes the actual sound as you say it. It is the gradual letting out of a breath that you do not realize you are holding in until it comes out. Depending on the stress level of the person who releases the sigh it can be quite audible. I believe there are two types of sighs: unintentional and intentional. The unintentional sigh is the one that escapes without the person even realizing they have done it. The intentional sigh is the one that a person releases with much more force so that everyone in the vicinity can hear it. I myself am a chronic sigher. I am fairly certain that 'sigher' is not a real word, but I am pretending it is as it makes complete and total sense to me. Although I do my best not to sigh, I find myself doing it all the time. Despite my best efforts, it is nearly impossible for me to go five minutes without sighing. It is habitual and hereditary. My grandmother was a chronic sigher, my mother is, my sisters are, and as far as I know, my aunts are too. With any luck, my daughters will be as well.
Up until this point, I had never really thought about sighing other than a few people pointing it out to me here and there. It hit me this evening as I was making dinner and I realized that just about everytime one of the kids said, "Mom" or I discovered a new mess, I let out a sigh. I suppose it was almost like an epiphany. Or maybe my dear grandmother decided to have a laugh and made me aware of what I was doing. So I started thinking, sighing is not just related to stress, but maybe even more closely related to having children. The more children you have, the more chances you have of becoming a chronic sigher. I am not sure if this is a syndrome that plagues only the females in my family, but I conciously began to think about it. Yes, I know I have heard other women sigh. Usually it is when they are around their own children. I'm not saying that sighing is a bad thing. Actually, it might be quite scary if I held them all in. Who knows? I could possibly spontaneously combust or something. Sighing is a serious stress reliever.
It may annoy some people, but I obviously find sighing quite necessary as most of the time I do it involuntarily or subconciously. How could I possibly avoid it when I am making dinner and I ask my 12, 9, and 6 year old boys to straighten things up and clean the kitchen table up and what I get is a giant "boy" mess moved from one area to another. Literally, all they did was relocate the mess. SIGH! It's not just the boys that get the sighs though. My youngest daughter, now 2, took it upon herself to remove her diaper and apply what she obviously thought was diaper cream. She came yelling into the kitchen, naked, and pointing to her diaper area. I looked at her and didn't have to get too close to realize that she had used toothpaste, not diaper cream. OUCH and SIGH!!!!! Honestly, this little stunt actually called for multiple sighs as I had to put dinner on pause and give the poor little messer a bath.
The more I thought about this whole sighing issue, the more I began to think about the frequency of my sighs. I do believe I sigh at work as well. I will make a point to pay more attention to myself or have one of my coteachers point it out. It really is contagious too. I know for a fact that my oldest daughter sighs from time to time. A chronic sigher in the making? I do know that from now on, when I do hear another woman sigh, I will acknowledge her with a sympathetic glance.
I will close on this: as I am wrapping this post up, my two year old comes into my room without her pajamas on, smelling of chip dip, licking her fingers. Grandma, I understand. SIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!