Bravery crumbles

I so didn’t want to be the mum that cried.
It wasn’t even his first day at nursery.
It was his first settling-in session.
For an hour.
For goodness’ sake.

It was the coat peg that tipped me over the edge.
The little coat peg and his name label.
Waiting for him in the small corridor that leads to The Babies Playroom.
And as I attempted to take off his coat and hang it on his little coat peg, the tears started streaming, followed by sobs, which I tried to control, but couldn’t.
‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry,’ I said to the deputy manager as we walked down the corridor.
‘Don’t worry sweetheart,’ she replied, so kindly.
Her kindness made me cry even more.
And when I handed him over, my baby, when I handed my baby over to another smiling and lovely lady, who reassured me he would be just fine, the tears kept on coming.
They brought me hot sweet tea.
A passing dad reassured me I would be okay.
Everyone was so kind.
Why am I such a cry baby?
Zee didn’t cry, not once. That is something to be truly grateful for.

Yesterday I was braver.
Until I went to watch him at play.
He was having his bottle, all I could see were his little feet.
I decided it was best to walk away, and leave him to play, safe in their care.

FreddieToday the tears came back.
But only at home, I don’t want to cry there again.
Not when I know he is in such safe hands.
But here in the warmth of our cosy home, where we spend hours playing and cuddling and laughing, the tears rolled freely.
Normal service is suspended this week.
We spend ages watching his learning songs on YouTube.
It’s an opportunity to maximise the cuddles, you see.
I watch his face as he beams and grins at The Solar System song, or the shapes dancing across the screen.
I smile too, until I remember; this is the week of lasts.
I hold him tighter.
I give myself a stern talking to.
Get a grip!
I pick up Freddie and the Fairy, his most favourite book, with its chewed corners and Scotch-taped spine.
He grins.
I get a grip.
I read.

‘Freddie stamped his foot and said,
“This carrot has no beak.”
“Forgive me,” said the fairy
And a tear rolled down her cheek.’

I lose my grip again.
I whisper to Zee that I’m keeping in character.
He beams.
More tears roll down my cheek.

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