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.