It's been a big few days for blubbing. I don't have a proper cry all that often, and when I do it is very rarely in front of others. I always feel better for a good sob though, and am "lucky" in that if I want to cry, I can easily bring it on by reading.
The blub-fest today was helped on by the fact that I had very little sleep last night. I have enjoyed the Olympics immensely, and felt that I just had to watch the Closing Ceremony in its entirety, despite the fact that it clearly wasn't as good as the Opening Ceremony, or the games themselves.
I had cried my way through the end of Hitler's Canary in the morning, but you'd have to have the heart of a statue not to cry at that. I cried during the closing ceremony when Gary Barlow sang about stars lighting up the sky, following the death of his baby girl just last week. Just when I had re-composed myself after that, they did a montage including Gemma Gibbons mouthing "I love you Mum" up to the heavens after going through to the final in Judo. Gets me every time.
This morning, I was more shouty than sad, which is my general disposition these days after going to be after midnight. I never was a particular party animal even in my youth, and have found my stamina for late nights has diminished as my responsibilites have grown. However, there were several reading-related blubbing flashpoints today.
1) Reading The Story of Wenlock and Mandeville by Barry Timms and Michael Morpurgo to C. We have bought a fair amount of Olympic paraphenalia today (of which more later) for a significantly reduced price, including this much-longed for by C book. I remember rolling my eyes when my colleague bought it and said it was quite moving. It is a really lovely story and I would urge anyone with mascot-loving offspring to indulge in a copy.
2) The Olympics poem by Carol Ann Duffy. I love a bit of Carol Ann Duffy. I even love her after teaching her poetry to dis-engaged seventeen year olds for several years. Her poems told from the point of view of various fictional wives of historical characters really awakened a sense of the unfairness of the way history is narrated by men and for men. Also they are very witty poems. Her Olympics poem is moving and heart-warming, and I am already planning how to pitch it to the teens who happen to find themselves in my classroom come September.
3) I didn't actually blub at this, but felt almost moved to. In June, I bought C the London 2012 Destination Junior board game from the fabulous Happy Puzzle Company, for £23.99. £23.99! Today, in Home Bargains, I was rubbing my hands with glee at getting a cuddly Mandeville for each child to take to the Paralympics for 59 of your English pence, when I just happened to glance down at the bottom shelf, where they had Destination Junior for £3.99. Now, don't get me wrong, we've enjoyed playing the game. But we've only played it about four times since June, having been away on our hols and all. So that's £5 per game. £20 I will never see again. £20 that will haunt me, whenever I see something that I really want, but cannot justify spending £20 on. Still, at least it will take the place of the £25.60 which has haunted me since 2001, when I left a £6 train ticket in Mr M's room in his student house and had to buy a full price one at the station. That £25.60 could have bought a LOT of stuff. Especially the 60p. You could have a cuddly Wenlock from Home Bargains for that. Or three Team GB shower caps.
4) The magazine of the British Heart Foundation. Specifically this
As I was reading it C said, "Mummy, you look really sad reading that
magazine, there are tears and everything - stop reading it!" I
explained what the story was about and why it was so, so sad, and a bit
happy at the same time. He thought that people who received donated
organs were somehow re-born as newborn baby, which would be pretty cool,
if a little bit difficult for their families, practically speaking.
After I explained further he said "What a lovely thing for that nice
lady to do". Such a beautiful, smiling face looking up from the page.
Such a heartfelt story. These things never fail to get the tears