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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

the strand to my heart

Have you heard of the book, "The Princess and the Goblin"?

Its a sweet story written in 1872 by George MacDonald about a princess, her king papa, and adventures they have with the goblins that live under the mountains. (You can read it for free here)

We were reading a few chapters last night, waiting for dada to come home, after a very long day. Mama was tired, the kiddies tired, baby already asleep at 6:30.

We came to this section, where she goes to visit her magical great great great grandmother, up in the high tower of the castle. Little Princess Irene had just been frightened by a goblin cat and ran halfway up the mountain road by her country castle. She comes back and immediately goes to see her grandmother. Her grandmother has been weaving for her, a delicate strand, and said she would give the finished present to her soon. After she hugs the muddy scared Irene she gives her a small ball of tightly wound thread.

The lady put her hand in the fire, brought out the ball, glimmering as before, and held it towards her. Irene stretched out her hand to take it, but the lady turned and, going to her cabinet, opened a drawer, and laid the ball in it.
'Have I done anything to vex you, grandmother?' said Irene pitifully.
'No, my darling. But you must understand that no one ever gives anything to another properly and really without keeping it. That ball is yours.'
'Oh! I'm not to take it with me! You are going to keep it for me!'
'You are to take it with you. I've fastened the end of it to the ring on your finger.'
Irene looked at the ring.
'I can't see it there, grandmother,' she said.
'Feel—a little way from the ring—towards the cabinet,' said the lady.
'Oh! I do feel it!' exclaimed the princess. 'But I can't see it,' she added, looking close to her outstretched hand.
'No. The thread is too fine for you to see it. You can only feel it. Now you can fancy how much spinning that took, although it does seem such a little ball.'
'But what use can I make of it, if it lies in your cabinet?'
'That is what I will explain to you. It would be of no use to you—it wouldn't be yours at all if it did not lie in my cabinet. Now listen. If ever you find yourself in any danger—such, for example, as you were in this same evening—you must take off your ring and put it under the pillow of your bed. Then you must lay your finger, the same that wore the ring, upon the thread, and follow the thread wherever it leads you.'
'Oh, how delightful! It will lead me to you, grandmother, I know!'
'Yes. But, remember, it may seem to you a very roundabout way indeed, and you must not doubt the thread. Of one thing you may be sure, that while you hold it, I hold it too.'
'It is very wonderful!' said Irene thoughtfully.

That night, tucking little man into bed, I had one of those overwhelming moments of love for this little creature. He looked up at me with sleepy eyes.

"One more hug mama. Tighter. Tighter!"

I hug his neck, as he nearly chokes me. He grabs my hair, playing with it, pulling it toward him.

"Look, now we are connected," he says.

"You don't need that." I say. "We are already connected. You have a strand connecting my heart to your heart." I tap his strong chest (how is he so big already?) "It goes right here, all the way to me."

"So we will always be connected?"

"Always," I say.

"And I can always find my way back to you?"


"So its invisible to everyone but me and you?"


"And no one can break it?"


"Good," he says.

And the little man, who was a little babe just a bit ago, (yesterday wasn't it?) goes to sleep, his heart forever connected to mine.

Yes. These moments. They make motherhood, right?



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