I arrived in Coquitlam yesterday morning on the Greyhound. At some point as I was looking at the landscape that was passing by, I remembered the many bus journeys I took home for holidays when I was working in the big city as a young woman. My mother will recall the stories I spurted out when I got off the bus, for each trips seemed to have its own adventure.
It was Grey Goose Bus Lines that travelled through Manitoba those days. And it did seem that my night travels were full of more stories than days. What has not changed over the years on those night buses is the groggy people who are wakened in the middle of the night when the bus reaches a new destination. My companions this journey included a woman who was on her way to Vancouver for emergency eye surgery; she talked about her whirlwind of a day - when it began she had no idea that that night she would be sleeping in a Greyhound. Or even what was in store for her when she arrived. I am thinking she was grateful that the retina problem was discovered before our only eye doctor went on vacation for a month. I am thinking she could use a friendly gesture on a long bus ride.
The bus driver was a friendly type of guy himself. He joked with each one of us as we lined up to give him our tickets - where we were going, and tales of the night before. When the half dozen teenage girls got on the bus l/2 hour down the road, he said to them, "yeah, girl power!" Along the way, whenever we were in cell range, the young women got on their phones. After one conversation, one of the young women said to the others, "Here's the advice she gave: Stick together. Don't talk to strangers." They all laughed.
I remember those days, of sending my children off into the world, and wondering what they would encounter, and if they would happen upon the evils depicted in movies. And then I remembered how I laughed when my mother told (ummm... tells) of the dangers in the world.
Our work as mothers is to make sure that our children are safe in the world. Our work as children is to go out into the world and experience it.
We, then, shall always have advice, and the inevitable rolling of the eyes.
And so I landed in Coquitlam at a time that can be neither called morning nor night. There might only be one thing worse than arriving at a destination at that time and that would be to wake up and go and meet the bus. Which Aimee and Josh did, with smiles on their faces. And I thought again about mothers and their children - how fortunate I am to be each one of those.