It was an ordinary day at work when I quickly checked my Facebook while in between tasks. As I scrolled down, I saw the almost majestic image of Emma and Lachy Wiggle looking lovingly at each other. I thought that maybe they were pregnant but as I paused to read the headline that they had, in fact, separated, I literally gasped out loud and put my hand to my heart.
This may sound slightly OTT but it was genuinely my reaction. I was so loud that a co-worker asked me what was wrong. It took me a few seconds to respond. “Emma and Lachy are separated,” I told her, as if I was passing on the news about two long-time friends of mine.
But for many parents, that is exactly what The Wiggles are. They are friends.
They are entertainers who occupy our children for endless hours, they allow us some solitude while we know our kids are in safe and caring hands and they teach our children positive moral lessons; like how to eat well, about sign language, the alphabet and various other beneficial bits of knowledge.
On the latest episode of Mamamia Out Loud Rachel Corbett, Holly Wainwright and Mia Freedman discuss what Emma and Lachy Wiggles’ split means for families who are also separating…
They are like bright coloured angels sent to earth to help parents just as much as to teach our children. We spend so much time with them, we get to know them and we are eternally grateful to them for all that they offer us as parents. For many mothers and fathers, Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony are part of our families. So when we see the news of something like this, it really hits hard.
Since my eldest daughter was born, nearly six years ago, The Wiggles have been a staple of our TV viewing, often a daily event. We watch them, we listen to their music, we own much of their merchandise from a Big Red Car to an ‘Emma’ costume and doll which are some of the most frequently used toys in our toy box.
For years, both my girls have been massive Emma fans in particular (as many girls and boys are). When we went to one of our three Wiggles concerts, we even made Emma a giant bow out of yellow and black buttons and wrote a message for her on the back (and a felt broccoli for Simon). When she read it out loud at the concert, then liked our photo of it on Instagram, I officially joined in on the Emma obsession as well.
In fact, I surpassed my two daughters and began following her journey through Instagram, through the media and whichever way possible. I followed her endometriosis journey. I loved her photos of her cat who helped her recover (as a self-confessed cat lady). And of course, I was a major ‘observer’ of the Wiggly romance journey.
When Lachy and Emma announced they were getting married this was, for me, the most exciting thing that had happened in ages. I remember sharing the news with anyone that would listen. My girls shared my excitement (almost as much) that two of their favourite people were 'in love'.
So, this news that these two ‘friends’ of mine and my girls were separating after such a beautiful love story just seemed unbelievable and too difficult to comprehend. If I felt this way, how would I tell my girls? How would they feel that two positive, happy, fun Wiggles that were 'in love', now weren't?
I approached the situation as I do when we need to have any ‘serious’ talks in our family. We all sat down together and in my most calm, nurturing voice, I explained that Emma and Lachy Wiggle were still great friends but that they no longer loved each other like Mum and Dad do.
“Will they still be the Yellow and Purple Wiggle?” My eldest daughter asked me.
“Yes,” I assured her, “they will be.”
“Okay then, that’s okay as long as they are still Wiggle friends,” she said.
And with that insight and mature observation from my five-year-old, I thought to myself, yes, that is exactly right.
If they can still have so much love, respect and care for one another that they can still Wiggle together then I guess it was okay. I guess it all would be okay. This Wiggly love story didn’t work out but their friendship had and at the end of the day, that is still a wonderful thing.
How did you tell your kids that Emma and Lachy broke up? Tell us in the comments section below.