I’m pleased to say that my daughter and son-in-law arrived safe and sound after their long journey across France, without accident or incident (as far as I am aware).
Now I must point out that my daughter is no youthful innocent abroad. When it comes to this trip, she has done it many times in the past twenty years, and is, after all, herself now a grandmother and extremely capable. But she is my daughter, and no matter how old, in some atavistic area of my mind she remains my little girl and I want to protect her from danger.
So knowing that they hadn’t reserved a room in a hotel, and having been in that situation a number of times myself (and always managing to find somewhere, even if it got quite late) I texted her just before 8 pm to see how they were getting on. Reply: they were pressing on and would complete the journey in one go. Enjoying beautiful rainbows and sunsets. Nothing new or difficult in that. It’s roughly 1300 kilometres, mostly safe French autoroutes with civilised traffic, there are two of them to share the driving, and even I have managed it, by myself, in one day.
However, I also know that for the last 400 km or so the road leads almost due west, and in the summer months that means into the setting sun just at the time when you are beginning to flag. Very tiring on the eyes and difficult to read signs, which are then backlit.
I went off to bed and found I couldn’t sleep. I calculated that they would be arriving around 2.30 am so as I was still wide awake at that time I texted them again to see how they were progressing. I suppose mobile phones are a mixed blessing, but there are moments I’m extremely grateful for mine.
Half an hour later came the reassuring news that they were there and all was well. Whereupon I fell into a deep and dreamless sleep, only to be awakened at 9.30 am by my own mother, asking if I was all right.
What is it with this maternal instinct? None of us are over-protective mother hens, clucking around our offspring, but there we go – we are still concerned for their well-being, whatever their age. Sorry, darling! Seems you just can’t turn it off!