Flying home at the end of a business trip yesterday, I was seated across the aisle one seat back from a twenty-something mother with a tiny infant in her arms and kindergarten aged boy seated next to her. Watching them touched my heart.
The young man by his mom was well-behaved. He was seated quietly looking at books most of the flight and would often reach over and put his arm on his Mom’s. Seeing him lean over and kiss the baby on the head a couple of times was touching. It was easy to surmise where he learned to express love the way he did.
During the two-hour flight, at least a dozen times the young mother softly kissed her tiny baby. At other moments she would softly touch the baby’s face or caress a hand or a foot. Even the way she held the little one showed she loved her child. While most infants seem to get noisy at some point during a flight, this one barely let out a sound. Mom knew the correct moment to take out a bottle just before the tiny bundle cried from hunger. It was obvious the younger mother knew her baby intimately.
It truly was a special gift to be allowed to observe this young mother and her children. She was calm the entire flight and never for a moment appeared stressed or hassled, nor did either child. At arrival when it came time to get off the plane, the young woman calmed gathered up her purse, a diaper bag and another canvas bag. Then with the infant in a baby sling carrier she helped the little boy into the aisle in front of her and the three of them made their way calmly down the aisle.
What I witnessed was the openly expressed true love of a mother for her children and of them for her. The young mom likely learned what she was expressing to her kids from her parents when she was growing up. Love begets more love. How we express love and even our ability to know and feel it is mostly learned in childhood.
Somewhere in the town I live in there is today a young mother and two children who are no longer complete strangers. I am glad for the insight into what is in their hearts and am grateful yesterday they came across the path of my life. I am certain all is not perfect for the three all the time but know without doubt the bonds they share will last a life time. I am honored to have been a bystander to the beauty of the love they share.
If I had two wishes, I know what they would be
I’d wish for roots to cling to, and wings to set me free;
Roots for inner values, like rings within a tree,
And wings of independence to seek my destiny.
Roots to hold forever, to keep me safe and strong
To let me know you love me, when I’ve done something wrong;
To show me by example, and help me learn to choose
To take those actions every day to win instead of lose.
Just be there when I need you, to tell me it’s all right
To face my fear of falling when I test my wings in flight;
Don’t make my life too easy, it’s better if I try
And fail and get back up myself, so I can learn to fly.
If I had two wishes, and two were all I had
And they could just be granted by my mom and dad;
I wouldn’t wish for money or any store-bought things
The greatest gifts I’d ask for are simply roots and wings.
“A Child’s Bedtime Song” by Denis Waitley