So, as I was driving to school to drop my son off for his last Thursday at this school, I had this little twinge. It was unexpected, but I recognized it as soon as it happened. You know the twinge I’m talking about. That one that happens simply because you’re a woman, and you have emotions, and sometimes those emotions make themselves known even when you’re not really thinking about them. I quickly got over it, and put it at the back of my mind.
Later on, at the very last Toddlers session for my daughter, I got it again. Only this time, it wasn’t just a twinge.
Very nearly every Thursday for the past two years, I have read the story during storytime on Thursdays at Toddlers. Sure there were a few months when I didn’t go, but overall, since living in Woking and going to toddlers, it has kind of become my thing and I really look forward to it. I love reading outloud to the kids. I love doing the voices and I love seeing them get involved in the story. And, let’s face it, I really just love to be the centre of attention, so there is that.
Anyway, I read a very familiar story today, The Chimpanzees of Happytown by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees, and as I started to read I felt a bit of a lump in my throat. I duly pushed it down and carried on – these toddlers want their story darnit! Well, by the last page, I was swallowing harder and pausing longer than I normally do, but I finally made it through the very.last.word. then promptly let out this awkward sob combined with “It’s my last day, I’m so sorry!” As I was crying I heard Sian say, “Oh, mo-mmeee!” in that “aren’t you being silly” kind of way. I was being silly. But, I’ve made some great friends at that group – as evidenced by the sobbing, hugging mess of women in the kitchen shortly after storytime – and I’m going to miss them.
There you have it. I’m a mess. It’s not going to get any better any time soon…