Two little girls ran to the closet door. They slipped into it quietly. Ignoring the instructions not to hide from mommy and never to play where she could not see them. Entering their own secret world. The closeness to each other in it made them feel safe. The world outside held scary things, scary people, hurts, rejections, and pain. Inside they shared each others secrets and dreams. They laughed, and played, and loved each other. Pretending nothing else existed but them.
Outside, mommy had realized that the girls were not where she had left them a moment ago. She had finally finished with all her boring adult chores that made her tired and drained, but she was ready for some fun with the girls. Oh how she had looked forward to this day! But where were they? Panic stared to form. What if's started to play in her mind. Her own past started to haunt her. Oh how she never wanted her girls to experience what she had. Protect them, at all costs. That had always been she goal. Little did she realize how badly that goal backfired. Always warily of danger made mommy never laugh. The girls saw her as angry and mean. Maybe she was, but at herself, rarely because of them.
Searching the house, she heard a faint noise. Stopping and listening, there was a muffled giggle coming from the bedroom. Entering the room, she heard the noise of shushing coming from the closet. How could this be! The girls knew that that was against the rules. Were they disobeying again?
Instantly mommy reacted!
Truly there was a choice to be made. Yesterday, it would have been to throw open the door and start barking about how hurt mommy was because the girls had disobeyed her. But today, well today was different. Mommy turned around and went down to the kitchen. There she found the perfect things for a picnic. Special plates and china cups for tea. Things set apart for use only on special occasions for very special people.
Today, mommy was different. She now realized how the pressures of life and her own ghosts had blurred her vision of what and who were truly special.
She tiptoed to the closet door. She heard the girls chatting merrily. She smiled at their talk. Delighted in the delight they had for each other. Then she opened the door.
The girls froze. They had been caught. Terror crossed their faces. But then they looked at mommy, who hadn't said a word. She was smiling the biggest smile they had ever seen on her face. She looked so different! Almost beautiful. They squealed with delight as they realized that mommy had brought a snack for all of them. Then she entered the closet to play with them. The hugged mommy and she loved them back.
Today was different because mommy had learned to laugh.