The female of the species is a deep and complicated creature. Our minds work in strange and wonderful ways which, though positively mystifying to men, make complete sense to us. Or at least they do most of the time.

Today I happened to pass by our local senior school as hordes of teenagers came flooding out on to the pavement. They were chatting animatedly, laughing and gesturing at each other with great gusto. I wondered what could have brought them all out when classes would usually still be in full swing. And then it crossed my mind. Their first GCSE. These year 11 students had just been freed from the captivity of the exam hall and were now engaged in the serious business of the post mortem.

And then, from absolutely nowhere and for no discernible reason, I began to cry. Suddenly I felt totally engulfed by some emotion that I couldn’t identify. My tears were akin to those of sorrow but I felt no sadness. I was able to control the downpour but I felt that had I not wanted to check them, the tears could have flowed forever.

But why? Why do certain situations cause me to become emotionally inept? My children think it’s hilarious. They now know a few of the triggers and cast sidewards glances at me to check that I am maintaining my composure when they arise. Maybe it’s just me although I do remember my mum crying when children sang and telling me that her mum always did too. Perhaps it’s a genetic thing!

I suspect this morning was a mixture of the innocence and promise of these young people on the cusp of the big world combined with the knowledge that my own children are fast approaching that stage in their lives. And on top of that, a quick tear shed for my own youth when everything was exciting and nothing was impossible.

If I tried to explain what came over me this morning to my husband, he would smile supportively but have little or no comprehension of what I was describing. Crying over a loose collection of thoughts and memories is not something that men seem to do. I have given up attempting to analyse my motives. I just go with the flow, so to speak and wait until it passes. I even enjoy the emotional surge sometimes as long as it hits at a convenient moment.

Perhaps it is a phenomenon peculiar to me alone in which case anyone reading this will be finally convinced that I have lost my grip. But I suspect not. As I say, women are complicated creatures and that is part of our allure.