‘Happy Days is a saying I have perhaps overused at times. I have been fortunate to have many days in which I have smiled and laughed, have spent time doing things I love with good friends and family.
Yesterday was a happy day. I journeyed to Spain, for a pre Christmas visit to my beautiful girl. From arriving at the airport everything was wonderful. No delays, swift boarding onto an half empty plane and a flight with views over France and the mountains that was straight out of a film. I watched from my window as green fields crossed roads and railway lines, towns spreading into the countryside we then were headed over the foothills towards Pyrenees. There I coud see below me tiny villages nestling in mountain passages, you could almost reach out and touch the snow capped peaks. I was thinking of the time almost forty years ago when I travelled up those mountain roads on an adventure to Andorra. Then I had no clue of what the world was really about, just a desire to travel, to seek out new places and to see for myself places I had only ever seen on maps.
Landing at my destination and hugging my gorgeous girl felt good. She is the only one of my children who has my travelling spirit. She has lived in several places this past year, each time making new friends, finding her feet, getting jobs and learning about the world. We travel to our home for the next few days by taxi, the driver friendly and helpful, and once in our apartment we planned the rest of our day.
Heading firstly to the beach, my baby girl negotiated the Metro with the confidence of a resident, she is very much at home here. We walked a while then sat and ate good food, people watching and catching up on news. Later we headed into the city and I was spellbound by the beauty of the buildings all around us.
Spanish people shopping, chatting, talking in groups amidst the bright Christmas lights and pretty decorations. It felt wonderful. We found a pretty square, there are dozens to choose from, and sat at a table watching the street entertainers, Spanish guitars strummed and hopeful sales people offered us their wares. It was still warm, although the light was fading. We laughed at the crazy lady with too short trousers who gave a rendition of Jingle Bells loudly and in tune, in a mixture of at least three languages all in the same verse. We watched as bright lights flew above our heads to float back to the ground to be snatched back by the man intent on selling them to everyone.
It is tiring travelling and enjoying yourself. We headed home for an early night, where we watched Spanish TV while drinking English tea and eating cookies. We talked about life, about what we will do tomorrow and I think both us recognised how fortunate we are.
Sometimes it is hard to be a Mum of a gorgeous girl who is determined to live her life in the world. Sometimes you think it would be good if she stayed close to home, then I wouldn’t miss her quite so much. Sometimes that is true. Mostly though I am glad that she has the confidence and the talents to make a life of her own choosing. That she knows just who she is and is not afraid to go into the world, she does not expect things to come to her.
So for the next couple of days we will wander around the city that is presently her home. I am due to meet her friends, to see her workplace and together we will experience a Spanish city in December. Next week it will be Christmas and I will be back at home peeling carrots, roasting turkey and wrapping presents. She will be with her Spanish friends, laughing and having fun. Of course we will miss her, but how much more can Mum want than a daughter who is making her own Happy Days and living the life she is choosing.