all about the drama
In the very earliest days of my motherhood, as I floundered my way through those bleary eyed newborn days, trying to find my feet and a moment to sleep, I was lucky enough to connect with an amazing mothers group. For many many years, we would meet together weekly and watch babies grow and swap stories from the trenches of newborn parenting and toddler years and together we watched our babies grow and head off into the world.
In that group, I connected with another boy mum – something of a rare occurrence in a group almost comically girl-heavy. Our wee boys only a couple of months apart, they became firm friends as our babies all grew and our group expanded beyond weekly coffee dates to infiltrate story time and playgroup and swimming lessons. One mum started a toddler music program, and off we all went. Rapidly following toddler music, came toddler drama, run by none other than my fellow boy-mum.
That was in 2010…maybe 2011? Our boys were still preschoolers when we first met weekly to play and explore the dramatic arts. Every couple of years, another of my little chickens would head off to class as their siblings moved up through the age groups. I came on board too, not as a performer, but as the drama school’s tame photographer, shooting headshots once or twice a year for performances and promotion.
The boys grew, and went to different schools, making different friends. Each week they would hang out together though at drama class, a constant through the years as classmates changed. Last month, it was one of my greatest joys of this year to watch these two boys, now young men on the cusp of adulthood, play off against each other as leads in their final performance. I confess I cried as we applauded and they took their bows, side by side for the very last time.
The end, it seems, is here. Life runs in seasons, and the next season for my friend and drama teacher, and my boy’s oldest friend, takes them to a new home, far from here. Of all the teacher gifts I’ve made over the years, this one may have been the hardest. There was simply no way I could wrap almost 17 years of friendship, and fourteen years of drama lessons, into a single gift. With their move imminent, I instead went with the practical, with a couple of little keepsakes.
A hamper of little treaties, to soothe the transition, and a couple of special extras. Is a teacher gift even a teacher gift if I don’t crack out the cricut? I found this adorable “Drama Queen” SVG on Etsy, and used it to create her a personalised travel mug. And for something a bit more sentimental, I had a couple of these mini concertina albums leftover from my photography business days. I went deep into the archives, including pulling my old computer tower out of storage, and grabbed as many headshots of her son as I could find. Printed 3×4″, then cropped to 2.5×3.5″, they filled the mini album perfectly, leaving just the first and last pages empty. On the first, I wrote a short inscription, and on the back, I got the children to sign their names.
While class doesn’t officially end until this week coming, we are off to the big smoke for a camp for the teenager, making yesterday our final day. There were hugs and tears and good wishes, and the moment was upon us. The teens reiterated their plans for road trips to visit their friend, we snapped the last photos, and then my boy and his no-longer-little friend said their final goodbyes, now two peas in different pods.
“Mummy, are you ok?” Beetle asked as we drove out the gate. “No, I’m not,” I replied. Goodbyes are hard. Change is inevitable and new chapters are exciting, but man, it’s the transition that does me in every time. Sending them off with a little piece of me in a project makes it a little easier.