Little Sarah had graduated from the high chair to taking her first steps, taking her share of tumbles and grazed knees like all babies.
On such occasions mammy would hold out her arms and say: "Come here to me."
The she crawled to her on all four and climbed onto her knee and mammy gave her a hug.
Mammy would say: "Who's my girl?"
Through her tears, Sarah would say "Sarah is!"
Then mammy would ask: "Who is the apple of my eye?"
The child would smile and say: "Sarah is!"
In the end mammy would say: "And I love you always, forever, whatever the cost!"
After a laugh and another hug, the child was ready for the next challenge.
Even at the age of five, Sarah would still repeat the scene of "Come here to me" to heal cut knees and hurt feelings, to say "good morning" or "good night".
One day it happened that mammy was having a really bad day.
She was tired and stressed out from the work of looking after her husband, a child of five, two teenaged daughters and all the housework. Every time the phone rang or the door-bell sounded it meant more work that would have needed a whole day and had to be done immediately. She reached breaking point in the afternoon and took refuge in the bedroom to have a good cry in peace.
Sarah ran to look for her and said: "Come here to me!" She curled up close to her mother and, putting her hands on mammy's tear-stained cheeks, said: "Who's my mammy?". Through her tears, mammy replied: "I am". "Who is the apple of my eye?". Now smiling she answered: "I am".
"And I love you always, forever, whatever the cost!"
A laugh and a hug and mammy too was ready for the next challenge.
Whoever loves will be loved.