Yesterday toddler P made her debut performance, following in Mummy’s footsteps, she took to the stage as a little angel (I know, who cast her as that right??).  I wasn’t able to go, as a teacher time off in term time is a no, no unless for medical, health, essential reasons (it’s not like we don’t get enough holidays I hear you cry).  This is one of the downsides of my career choice, I love my job, the perks of holidays etc however, as a parent not being able to take time off for these special moments is going to kill me. Fact.

I want to see her belt out an out of tune rendition of “Little donkey” with a tinsel halo on her head.  I want to see her re-enact Mr Poppy’s “Sparkle and Shine” choreography.  Chances are though, I’ll only get to see it via home rehearsals in the kitchen and sneaky whatsapp pics from the mothership as Granny T sees it live.

Anyway, on my lunch break yesterday, I was greeted by a stream of pics and videos of little Miss P and her buddies shaking maracas and banging drums as they sang about Mary having a baby boy.  My eyes literally filled up, my heart melted and all the stresses of being a mum to a terrible toddler faded away as I gushed with pride.  I then had a very special memory, one that seems very apt having only been Poppa M’s birthday at the weekend.

This is possibly my favourite memory of him, it’s one thing I’ve always held onto, even when he did some horrible things, it’s a memory that reminds me that despite bad decisions and life choices, he cared, deep down he loved and cared and on this occasion found a good way to show it.

It was Christmas, I was about 9 or 10 and had landed the lead in the school play, I was Ebeneezer Scrooge, and I rocked at it (even if I do say so myself – told you my confidence was sky rocketing back!). The mothership took the day off work to come and watch, it was double cast because of the amount of students in the year group, giving us all a fair shot, so good old Granny T booked the correct day off to ensure she good see me shine as a grouchy old man.  Then…it snowed.

Never in my life had I been so disappointed by a snow day.  Luckily though, mum had booked the next day off too, so we walked into school fingers crossed that they’d let me play the part that day and the other Scrooge’s performance be postponed.  How wrong were we, the school postponed my performance to the end of the week keeping the schedule the same so other parents didn’t miss out.  I got it, but it didn’t feel fair even though it was.

That night or maybe the night before it was my turn, I don’t remember which, I laid in bed and cried.  No one was coming to watch me.  No one knew I was crying until Poppa M came upstairs for something and heard me.  He came in, I remember it well, he cuddled me and told me to stop and that it didn’t matter etc.  But it did, I really wanted my mum to see me perform and she couldn’t.

The next day, I went into school, we started the performance and I walked out onto the stage and there he was smiling.  In his hideous beige sleeved denim jacked, stood at the back of the hall, leaning on the PE apparatus beaming at me, his face full of pride and a twinkle in his eye that said, “I’m here for you.” It felt great.  I don’t know how he’d managed to get out of work, teaching was different then and he was just in his training year so he’d managed to swing it somehow (or he pulled a sickie and I’ve just landed him in it!!). Whatever he did, I don’t care, I’m grateful he came and I’m grateful for the memory.

Now it’s not something I can necessarily do or promise toddler P, but it’s a special memory and it means I’ll make sure when I can, I’ll show up, be there and show her how wonderful and loved she is.

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