"You’re my bestest friend forever."

The family was in the car heading home after church when I told them that I had invited another family over for dinner. The Hot Man explained to the Fab5, “Your mother has made a new friend, isn’t that nice?”

Right away the older lot started laughing. Jeering. Teasing me. “Awww mum’s made a friend. Finally after 10 months of living in New Zealand, she’s got a friend. Poor mum!” I told them all to shut up  be quiet or else they’d be hitch-hiking their way home. “Yes, I have made a new friend and I know I dont have many (“Ha, you mean any!” scoffed a disbelieving child) but there’s no need to be so derisive.” But they were not so easily silenced and the onslaught of mockery continued. Until, the Bella Beast put a stop to it all by bursting in to tears. And when the Beast cries – we all listen. (Spoilt child alert.)

“What’s the matter darling?” I asked.

She was sobbing as if her heart was broken. “I’m your friend mama. Nobody else. I’m your bestest friend.You and me mama – we friends forever.”

Now this not a post about how lame I am at making friends in real life. No. This is a post about how love – huge, gut-wrenching, breathtaking love – can take you by surprise. It’s about how I felt – and now I’m crying as I write this –  as Bella uttered those words, as she  looked at me, choking back tears. My very last baby. I get tired of being a mum (a lot.) Maybe because I started being a mum when I was a very young 22. I look forward to when they’re all self-sufficient and doing fabulous things…somewhere else in this fabulous world. I get impatient because dammnit, I’ve got things to do! And they’re getting in my way.

But here now is the very last child that will ever, ever want me to be the center of her universe. The last child that will want my hugs and kisses in public. The final, last child that will love me with that overwhelming, crushing kind of love – the kind of love that hasn’t had time to get tarnished by the realization that no, your mother isn’t perfect. Isn’t the coolest woman on the planet. Doesnt know everything. Makes tons of mother mistakes. And can’t make donuts as good as Dunkin.
No. This is my last baby. Reminding me that she is “My bestest friend forever.” Reminding me that being a mother is a breathtaking, gut-wrenching and blessed thing to be.
Thank you Bella. You’ll be my bestest friend forever too. (Even when you fall in love and run away into the sunset with some dreadfully unsuitable boy.)