‘Everyone cries at a nativity, don’t they? I mean most parents do, in normal situations, those with normal lives, they all cry don’t they?’
I put this to a friend last night, a question based mostly on my own experience, as this year was the third school nativity I had been to – and the third year I had cried.
My friend, who is a primary school teacher so should know about these things, replied: ‘Of course, that’s why they do them! It’s to make you go all teary-eyed at Christmas!’
I suppose it was inevitable this year. An emotional me, an emotional Sam, lots of super cute kids and Christmas songs, I was bound to have a little weep. It only occurred to me on the morning of the play that they might sing THAT song, the one they sing every year, the one which Roger had made his own and had become a family in-joke over the past few years.
He’d changed the words ‘Christmas, isn’t Christmas, til it happens, in your heart’ (emotive enough right?) to ‘Daddy, isn’t daddy.’ It goes on: ‘Somewhere, deep inside you, is where daddy, really starts. So give your heart to daddy, and discover when you do, that it’s daddy, really daddy, for you!’
I’d joked to Sam on the way to school that I hoped he wasn’t going to sing the ‘daddy’ song, and we laughed about it together and he smiled and said no, he wasn’t going to. I knew I would cry as soon as it came on. Doing these things on my own without Rog is tough enough, looking round the room and seeing all the proud parents sitting together, knowing how proud Sam’s dad would be if he were still here, how much he would have loved to have been sitting there with me.
I managed to get through the performance without a tear – Sam did so well as a villager and gave me lots of secret waves and smiles throughout. It was only at the end, when they came to the final song, that we both lost it. As the daddy song came on, I could see his sad little face staring at me, and when the others began to sing he just couldn’t do it. He stood there, sobbing for a minute before a teacher very kindly led him off stage, and I couldn’t get over to him quick enough to give him a big squeeze.
He was by no means the only child to cry – there are always a few who find the performance overwhelming and shed a little tear, especially when they see their parents in the audience. Sam isn’t like that – he loves to show off a bit – but this time for obvious reasons it just didn’t go as we had hoped.
He was so sad he couldn’t manage to get it together, so we decided it would be best to have a little time out and go and have some family time away from school. His teachers were so good, they let me take him home for lunch so we got in the car and went to a cafe for a bit of a treat and a badly needed distraction.
It’s amazing what a hot chocolate, some pizza and chips can do for your state of mind when you’re six. An hour or so later the world looked a little brighter. We were sad – but we had done it. We missed Rog – but we had each other. Life would never be the same – but we would try to survive.
PS I just wanted to say, thank you all so much for your amazing support and kind comments on my post from last week about my first Christmas as a widow. I think I have said before, it helps to write it down, and it helps to read all your lovely comments, so thank you! I’ll try to post some happier Christmas tales soon…