As I lessened the distance between me and my heart I stared at the ceiling of the train so as not to burst into a fit of guilty tears.
My work once let me go to a conference about women in the workplace. A feisty Canadian was giving us pointers on how to better control our emotions at work. Rightly or wrongly, the ability to burst into tears in an open plan office is not a skill often sought in an employee. The Canadian said if you feel yourself getting close to tears, look up. Looking up is connected with reason and logic. Looking down is connected with our emotions and feelings.
So there I was staring at the ceiling of the Eurostar train in hopes of not turning into the wailing childless mother in seat 62A when it dawned on me. When we raise our children we are looking down at them through an emotional filter. Reason does not apply to a mother whose child needs her. Our hearts are swollen watching their face look up at ours. And then they grow up, and they are bigger than us. If we have done a good job they will have surpassed us. And we will look up to them with reason at the incredible adult before us. It will be their turn to look down at us and be filled with emotion at the sight of us as the aging person who sacrificed what we could to give them this view.