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TALES OF THE UNKNOWN

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Happy and confident she waves and says, “Bye Mommy.”

I smile back and tell her I’ll be right here, watching and waiting for her to get back.  On the second level she hesitates.  I trot over and ask her if she’s alright.  Her eyes focused intently upward, she barely mentions a lost shoe.  I reach my arm through an opening and help her put it back on.  She’s off, excited now, getting higher.  My heart sinks a little, uneasy with the feeling of letting go.  I can see she’s delighting in the freedom.  She turns and leaves my line of sight.  I circle around, slightly frantic.  I can’t find her.  I search for the color of her shirt.  I see nothing but a blur of unfamiliar tiny bodies running and jumping.  I listen for her voice.  I hate this feeling.  What if she needs me?  What if she’s scared?  I can’t get to her. Will she know I’m down here waiting?  Will a bigger kid help her down?  What if she loses a shoe again?  Clearly I can’t be the only mother who feels this way?  Turning to a waiting mother on my right I say, “I hate this thing” hoping this stranger will tell me everything will be alright.  I get a half-smile back instead.

My stomach turning, I start to run up the stairs.  My eyes are on fire searching for a dash of familiarity.  Nothing.  I scream her name, trying to be heard over the rising shrill of happy kids.  Nothing.  I scream it again, my hands cupping my mouth.  “I’m up here Mommy!”  Her voice.  My panic subsides.  “Are you okay?” I’m yelling back.  A moment passes and then a faded and familiar “YA!” hits my ear.

I take a deep breath and start to head back down the stairs.  I’m pacing while I wait; reflecting on how hard it is to let go of something you care so much about, even if only for 15 minutes.  And how this damn climbing structure at the Boston Children’s Museum is a metaphor for my life as Mommy.

I can see her now.  She’s headed back down, cautious but nimble.  She reaches the start and  runs into my open arms.  I kiss her head and drink in her smell; I never want to let go.  She pulls back, her little hands are cupped.  She looks up at me and whispers: “I brought you back a magic bowl from all the way up top, Mommy.”

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And now I’ve got a magic bowl in my pocket, forever.

-MIM-

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Psst: The Big Apple Circus is headed to Boston!  We have two free tickets for the March 28th performance at 6:30pm.  Answer this question correctly in the comment section below (or on any of MIM’s social media sites) to be entered to win:  “What’s the height of the big top?”  {Hint: It’s bigger than the height of the climbing structure at the Boston Children’s Museum…but not by much if you ask me.}

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