I was with my three-year-old on the bus in town over the weekend, we sat down the back in our usual spot. There was a young girl sitting beside us face-timing her mum. My girl was getting really curious and started to edge herself into the eye line of the girl’s mum on the phone. Her mum was delighted, and started to wave and said “Hello from Mexico!”
Isn’t face-time an amazing thing? There we were on a Dublin bus, waving to a mother in Mexico. My little one started to blow kisses as the woman on the other side of the world screeched with delight (honestly, this was doing my heart good!)
When the girl was hanging up, I could see her moving closer to the screen so her mum could get a good look at her face. Her mother then rubbed the screen, just as if she were rubbing her face. My heart ached a little bit for her.
At this stage, my tot was on my knee fast asleep (the bus knocks her out every time) and so I started to chat the young girl. She had a bubbling enthusiasm for life I could really identify with, and had been in Ireland for just six months. It was the scenery from the movie P.S. I Love You that had helped her fall in love with the Emerald Isle when she was 16. She said she was on the look out for a Gerard Butler type too – I joked with her “Aren’t we all? Although he is Scottish!” We both laughed, and she told me she had made lots of friends here whilst studying and working at the same time. I told her Ireland was lucky to have her. She loved the politeness of the Irish, the way they said ‘Sorry’ all the time. I couldn’t help but bring the conversation back to her mother though.
I asked her if her mum called her much. “YES, EVERY DAY!” she answered, rolling her eyes! “When I’m on the bus, out walking, before bed, whenever she has a second the phone rings” I said “That’s just lovely, isn’t it?” She replied “Um, yes, but she has to realise I’m 27 now and not a child anymore!”
I turned to her and said “You see this girl on my knee? She is three. I love her with every fibre of my being and I have only been her mother for 3 years! She is my life, my whole world, imagine how I’m going to feel about her when she is 27!! The love I have for her is just going to get bigger and bigger through the years. She is with me 24 hours a day and I think of her every waking hour. Imagine when the time comes for her to leave and spread her wings?”
The girl looked at me and said “My goodness, I never thought of it that way” I explained:
‘I would never stand in my girl’s way, but I will walk over hot coals to keep her safe, to try to protect her.’
‘When the day comes for her to see the big bad world, of course I will be proud, but it’s going to be impossible to let her go. I am going to be the biggest pain in the butt calling her all the time and checking if she is OK, and she will roll her eyes like you!
I will be the very same as your mother, wanting her to hold her face to the screen just so I can touch it. And do you know why? A Mother’s love is crazy. It’s so hard to control, it is the strongest bond. It doesn’t know age or distance or time, there is no getting away from it! She will always be your mother and you will always be her child.’
We smiled together and the young girl said “You know, I will probably be the same when the day comes that I have children too!”
Yes, I thought. She’s got it in one!