A little girl, up and out of bed before anyone else in her house. The fog is still pressed low to the ground, frost settles on the tips of short cut grass, no smells of bacon frying, coffee brewing or toast toasting just yet. She tiptoes past her parent’s bedroom, creeps down the stairs and peeks around the corner to the living room. The room is still dark, the sun hasn’t had a chance to rise and bring light to the morning, but the girl can see the outline of the big Christmas tree to the left of the fireplace. Beneath the tree there are boxes of all different shapes and sizes, she squeals with excitement and then covers her mouth with her little hand. She pulls on the cord of a lamp on a little side table by the couch and looks at all the shiny bows on all the festively wrapped boxes, each with a surprise inside just for her. She notices the empty cup that she had filled with milk last night and the crumbs on the empty plate where sugar cookies once were. She kneels beside a rectangle box and pulls at the paper, carefully at first but then abandoning any efforts to stay quiet. Inside, is a baby doll wearing a pale yellow onesie, booties and a little cap. Her parents come up behind her and the girl runs up to them, hugging them and wishing them a Merry Christmas. Out of all her presents, her baby doll is her favorite. She feeds it, changes it’s diaper and rocks it to sleep. She makes sure to take care of her doll, guarding her from too much sun and making sure she’s warm when it’s too cold. She loves her doll very much. When the girl and her mother are out to lunch with her aunt, the baby doll beside the girl in a stroller, the aunt smiles at the girl and asks her What do you want to be when you grow up, sweetie? And without hesitation the girl replies, A mommy.
In another part of the world…
As credits start rolling, the romantic music is the only sound in the room. The girls can see their reflections off the TV screen, one wrapped in a blanket and the other hugging a pillow. They run up to the bedroom, the movies portion of this sleepover is done. Images of the movie’s hero still plays in their heads, and they wish to know what it’s like to be in his arms, to have his love. To be the One. They giggle and dance to the song playing on the radio, they paint their nails and eat cookies and drink milk. Tired from the day and dancing, stomach content with their sweet treats and hearts longing for true love, they crawl into bed and whisper and dream of the day they get married, of the day they each have their own prince charming’s come and sweep them away, to the distant land marriage, happiness, and completeness. They wonder if their as of yet unknown loves were out there wondering about them too. With that they fell asleep, dreaming of the future.
I wasn’t any of the girls in the stories above. I didn’t cuddle with dolls and pretend they were my babies. I didn’t dream of weddings and true love’s first kiss. I dreamed of making a name for myself, I would be the one people would admire and aspire to be. I would be a big shot writer, no… I would be a big time chef, wait no! I would be a big time writer. I would travel the world and bring my familiy with me. No matter what, I always imagined I’d be happy. I still aspire to make a name for myself, even it’s just a few people that know my name, I still want to be a writer and a sceptacular chef for those I care about, and to be good role model for others. Most of all, I do long to be happy and travel and be true to myself. I’d be lying ( thank goodness I’m not Pinocchio because then my wooden nose would grow!) if I said that I don’t imagine what it’d be like to be happy in love, not because I need someone else to complete me but because that person ehances my world. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t imagine what it’d be like to rub my tummy, big with a child, a life made from me to start fresh in this quick world. What I do share with the girls in the stories above? I have life and love to give and for today that’s my stories. I give birth to them and care for them, cherishing them and scared about what other’s will think of them when they are out there in the world, alone. Will they find someone to love them as I have loved them? Being a writer is like finding the love of your life, you’ve got to care for them and love them. Being a writer is like being a parent too, if you think about it. Eventually, you have to let go, letting the story take it’s course, releasing it out into the wild.