When our daughter was about twelve years old we had a little retail therapy session while traveling overseas. At that time we frequently still shared a change room in the department stores. On this particular day, I had gone ahead to a dressing room to try on a couple of things and she was going to join me. We didn’t anticipate the problem of how she would know which room I was in, behind all the closed doors. So, as I was deeply engrossed, inserting leg into trouser, I hear ‘Mama bear, it’s baby bear, where are you?’ I recognised her voice immediately and waved my hand underneath the door so she could find me. We have both laughed over this, especially me. She has always had a great sense of humour (can’t imagine where she gets it!) but she got over ‘cute’ at a young age. To hear this out of the blue was at the same time, uncharacteristically cute, and yet, completely her spontaneous wit.
Later on that same trip, she was really sick of travel and wanted a day off to stay in the hotel room and sleep and not be a tourist–to be a twelve year old. We said fine, knowing Edinburgh was a safe place, and especially that hotel, and that I would be checking on her frequently. There is just no joy dragging a 12 year old around a foreign city when they don’t want to go. I would go out and have a look at a thing or two, then find something for her to eat or drink, and take it back to her (there was no room service). We called it my ‘foraging’ in Mama Bear mode.
When giving her a bit of advice, or enquiring after her wellbeing, I often initial my emails ‘mb’. It is just our own special, extra layer of meaning. And love.
This year, for Mother’s Day I received a card that confirmed this quirk of our relationship into a visual affirmation. There will never be another card I will enjoy any more than this one.
Sharing it now is my further way of celebrating how the tiniest things in life can delight us, if we can see them.