The Thing Is

This evening it occurs to me that I may not have cleaned my teeth this morning. I got up late in an attempt to delay the day and was hurried along by my 4 year old. Eager for his final day the childminders, as much as I was mourning the passing. I grabbed the first clothes that came to hand and contained my tears until I’d kissed him goodbye and left him in her familiar kitchen. Then I cried unashamedly, wiping big fat tears away with the sleeve of my cardigan.

Noo has not been in childcare over the summer, today was a blip and day to mark the end. I had a stack of things to do, starting the day in tears isn’t idea. The thing is I’m not even sure why I’m crying.

At the beginning of September 4 years ago I left my 9 month old at the childminders and returned to work. I’ve never doubted leaving him there. Utterly confident in the care he received. While his relationship with nursery hasn’t been straightforward, he has without falter loved going to his childminders. Now it is time to say goodbye; to her, her family and the small group of children that have grown up with Noo. Each child started as a baby and together they’ve grown. It’s been nothing but positive. It is sad to be saying goodbye and all day I’ve felt raw with emotion. By the time I pick up Noo, I’ve been out and about in the wind and rain, my hair is a halo of unkempt frizz, I’m not wearing any make-up on and later I wonder if I remembered to clean my teeth. My nose is red, my eyes watery and I’ve lost the ability to communicate, instead I flap my hand in front of my face, in an attempt to somehow swipe the emotion away and purse my lips trying to seal the tears inside. I can only roll my eyes in an attempt to convey my thanks. I can’t put my finger on what it is that’s making me cry, I don’t seem to be able to unravel it. The end of an era. The changes ahead. It seems slightly irrational to sit on the sofa this evening loudly blowing my nose into a big pile of tissues whilst blubbing over the record of Noo’s devleopment and achievements at the chilminders over the past 4 years, now all pulled together in a folder, from first words to singing Beatles songs. I’m a sorry sight and I’m feeling sorry for myself. The Prince himself stares blankly at me and then back at the TV unmoved and unquestioning of the disheveled and weeping woman on the opposite sofa. Before bed and without prompting Noo tries on his school uniform, he looks smart and grown up and it makes me smile broadly. I wonder why I’ve shed so many tears today. The thing is – I’m still not sure.


  1. super amazing mum

    I was like this on Pixie’s last day at pre-school….I know it is because I will never have another child in such a wonderful place….

    I was also hand flapping the emotion away…


  2. Crumbs

    It’s a complicated time, and I think when things end it can effect you in ways you can’t anticipate. My 5yo started school last year and I felt so sad, but what i’ve since realised (although this doesn’t mean I’m not going to cry a lot) is that it is never the end, just a beginning. School has been a huge adventure for both of us, and he has loved it. His energy and excitement are what have carried us through. They have a compulsion to move forward and I think it’s what carries you. He’ll be fine. And so will you.

  3. Emma @mummymummymum

    Awww..big hug. I think for me Z leaving nursery was hard because it was the end of an era, the end of the baby days. I didn’t realise at the time that it was also the start of something wonderful. Last year I watched my shy little boy grow in confidence, learn to read, write and find a new love for Maths at school. Its been pretty amazing, and I’m sure it will be for you and Noo too. x

  4. Narrowboat Wife

    Aw I know what you mean. I think it’s about changes and growing. My eldest is the same age and starts school next week. When we moved out of London last year we left the much loved childminder that had known her since 6 months old and I think I was more emotional than my daughter to leave someone so trusted and valuable. Today my daughter tried on her school uniform and whilst I believe I looked proud she said, “Are you sad Mummy?” I said I was a bit sad but mostly happy that she is growing and going to school.

  5. Lady Briggs

    I have all this to come next week and am definitely anticipating tears on my part but not K’s! I am sure that, as others have said, though it is sad to move on, it will be the start of a whole new and wonderful adventure! Wishing you and Noo lots of luck at big school. x

  6. Lady Briggs

    Oh no, I have all this to come next week, and I am quite sure there will be tears on my part but not K’s! I am sure, as others have already said, that whilst it is sad to move on and leave behind the familiar, it will be the start of a whole new, wonderful adventure, but that thought doesn’t make us feel any better at the time. Wishing you and Noo lots of luck at ‘big school’! x

  7. Midlife Singlemum

    I also did the hand flapping thing on DD’s last day at the nursery she attended for two years. In the end I gave up and cried. I feel like they helped me bring her up from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2. The were her home and family away from home. Of course you cry.

  8. Honest Mum

    Totally feel for you sweetie, it’s an emotional time and Noo is starting the next stage-I actually cried when I had to take O out of nursery last year due to constant glue ear on the recommendation of the specialist. I felt so sad to be depriving him from a place he loved. Now, thankfully better and at a new nursery things are great but I totally relate to that raw emotion. Chin up lass x

  9. Nikki Thomas

    It is a really emotional time; the end of an era, moving on the the next and much bigger phase of their lives and development and the first signs that they are growing up. How you described yourself is exactly how I am on these days, it is hard, and it will happen again!

  10. Ali

    I am currently stressing and yesterday semi holding back tears at the thought of Oscar having to start the ‘Big & Bad’ world of secondary school next Tuesday.

    I think Noo is going to love school and I think you are going to love being a Mum of a ‘school boy’. But do get a giant bag to fill with tissues for the first day and then plan to meet up with someone for coffee if you don’t have to rush to work. Then again you may have just got all your crying out today and saying goodbye to an era and when Noo starts school you will be smiling at a new start. x x x

  11. emma wright

    It is such an emotional time. I’ve been through it once and have still got to go through it again. One thing I can say though is when they get to big school It’s htestart of a whole new exciting chapter that just gets better and better! X

  12. pennyalexander

    I love the way you observe the gestures, I can see you! Big hug I did just the same when L finished nursery. But the going to school bit was easier because of it xx

  13. tiredwiredmum

    Totally understand what you mean, I remember being sad then too. I don’t care what people say, it is a kind of grieving, the end of a chapter .. they’re no longer babies and they need you in a different way. It took me a long time to get used to it and I still remember that time so well – give yourself lots of love and know that it’s fine to cry, we all do! My eldest is starting secondary school …. another chapter! It throws you right back to your own first day at school and what that was like ….. weird feeling x

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