I am Alice. I put down my book, smooth my apron flat and look to see the rabbit running by. My feet do my thinking for me, moving quicker than reason. My mind doesn’t catch up and then I’m falling. I grasp for the sides, but it is too late. Everything is now a blurring whirl of nonsense.
I am Pooh Bear. I gorge myself until shame stops me, but then I can’t leave. The exit is too small. I’m stuck. My arms and legs wag uselessly. I’m held fast around the middle and there is nothing I can do but wait for time to release me little by little.
I am Goldilocks. The bears have so much and I have so little. I stamp my foot at the injustice, pigtails bouncing up and down, and then take what I think is mine. Just a little bite of porridge. A tiny sit down. A wee baby nap.
This last year, I spent quite a few weekends away from my husband and children. I happily helped my best friend sell his leather products at fairs and at a giant apple orchard in the mountains.
It left me feeling swept away and rebuilt at the same time.
I’m in a storybook and the pages are being blown around in the breeze. Lessons switching before I fully learn them. Villains disappearing before I can fully see them. Treasures always just over the next hill.
I’ve been a stay-at-home mother for over 10 years, surrounded by my two favorite little humans on the planet earth. I look at pictures of them and I can’t believe all we have done together. So many dinners at the table, picnics in the park, messy crafts and impromptu plays.
I have spent the last few years mourning a life without my sweet, little babies.
I yearn to have my belly and heart swell just once more, the tiny and intimate movements of a life growing inside my own.
I ache to feel another baby at my breast, to watch them break free and smile up at me with milk dripping down their chin.
I hold my baby carrier and imagine just one more little body strapped to mine, the warmth and weight an extension of me.
But the story is shifting.
The pain is lessening.
I used to think happiness would find me when I finally accepted things as they are.
Now I think it is more a matter of just letting the story unfold without trying to guess the outcome.
I’m a planner. I make lists and I’m always looking forward to the next thing. I love having a vacation, a party, or even a weekend trip to plan. I will sit and stare out the window and imagine packing my suitcase, the feeling of seeing something new, and even the weakness my body will feel after a hard day of playing.
I’m always rushing the story.
I’m an impatient time traveler who plans the next jump before even seeing where I am.
I read books quickly because I want to know the ending, but when it comes I feel let down and sad. I’m never satisfied.
Over the past few weeks, I have forced myself to slow down and be aware of what is around me. The feeling of the wood chair beneath me. The softness of the yellow paint on my kitchen walls. The sounds my children make when they are playing together.
I always thought it was impossible to be in a moment, a load of shit really.
But maybe there is something to all this.
I did do some planning in these quiet moments, but in a way that was grander and less specific than I normally do.
Instead of to-do lists, I filled my mind and journal with intentions for the year ahead.
Yes, I have goals big and small. Yes, I will still make to-do lists. Yes, I will still rush the story.
But it feels good to have a moment to look at the book as a whole and not be rushing to find out how it ends.