To me she is the same little girl who grew from the tiny baby with the sweetest lips and pretty face. When I look at her I see in one moment all that has gone before. I see her starting school, making friends, becoming a teenager (that was fun) and growing into a beautiful young woman. Of course I do, I am her Mum.
Last week I was given the chance to see her through the eyes of strangers. Visiting the town she has called home since the summer I was introduced to lots of new people. People she has befriended, new work colleagues, people she has found in bars and on the beach who have become her friends. It was an interesting time.
I had travelled with her very best friend, who has been so since they were at infant school. She, also, came to see this new, more confident friend living in the sunshine. We talked together about how happy she was, how happy we were to see her so.
The best thing was that everywhere we went people were saying the same thing. How lovely she is, how chatty and confident, how hard working she is and how she is always full of fun. Of course I was proud of her, surely some of the reasons she is as she is must be due to my wonderful parenting skills, I was basking in reflected glory for sure.
I am back home now and I know that in a month or so she will also come back to a cold, wet and dark England. I know she will become the moody person she can be, especially when she hasn’t had enough sleep, and in those difficult times when she is being a bit of a diva I will in a minute know that she is also still the gorgeous girl in the sunshine.
I have missed her so, so much since she left, sometimes so much it takes my breath away, the little things, watching tv in the afternoons, realising that all the hair products in the bathroom are as I left them and lasting twice as long as is usual, but it must never be about me. My job is almost done, she has spun out into another world, and I know for sure she will never live back with me on a permanent basis. While this makes me a tiny bit sad to be honest it makes me the happiest Mum in the world. She is living her dream, whatever that dream is, and she is doing so while making friends and enjoying her life. There is simply nothing else I would wish for her.