Once there was a mum. She didn’t have a name. Or, to be more accurate, she used to have a name, but she had forgotten it. No one called her anything other than mum these days. When the other mums at school talked what they did, she was quietly listening. Part of her was jealous because she wasn’t a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant, she was just a mum. Part of her was grateful that she didn’t have to do any of these jobs that she knew were not for her, but got to spend her days with the laughs of her children.
‘Mum, look what I’ve found!’
Mum heard Annie’s excited voice and rushed to have a look. Annie was holding an old box that looked vaguely familiar. Mum had a closer look. Of course, how could she forget! it was her majigsaw puzzle from the time she was a little child. She had spent hours putting it together and dreaming…
Because it was not just a jigsaw puzzle.
The picture changed every time to show the dreams of the person who was making it. Mum remembered all the pictures she had seen appear – the ballerina, the teacher, the young woman who dived to save the coral reef and of course, the mum. Were they still there?
Annie opened the box and dived straight in. Piece after piece she was discovering the magic of the majigsaw puzzle. Her own pictures started shaping up – she fed animals, walked through the forest and took photos of mountains. She travelled the world and taught disabled children to dance. Then in another picture she was surrounded by her family, planting a tree to commemorate the birth of her first child.
‘Do you want to try, mum?’
Mum didn’t know. She was scared that she didn’t have these dreams inside her any more. Or what if she did and they came back to the surface again, but she was unable to follow them? Or what if her daughter thought her mum was a loser for giving up on her dreams?
Hesitantly, she knelled on the floor next to Annie. She put down a piece. Then another piece. Did the pieces used to come together much easier when she was a child? It seemed like a real struggle now.
“You are doing it the hard way, mum. Start from the frame. Then work your way to the centre.”
Ah, yes, the frame. What went there?
Her love for her family. Her ability to nurture, sooth pain, ease emotional wounds, laugh at silly jokes and find the stars in the eyes of her children.
What came next? Mum remembered that she’d always wanted to write and the majigsaw puzzle showed her a book shape. Mum longed to see more, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t read what was on the cover.
“Mum. here, I found another piece for you!”
The piece fitted perfectly and Mum remembered that she didn’t need to do it all by herself. There were those around her who loved her, supported her and wanted to see her shine.
‘Mum, look, a picture is coming up!’
Yes, Mum could see something, but it seemed to lack colours. Everything was grey as if in a fog and it was hard to tell what it was.
But before the mummy could give it much thought, Annie was there with crayons in her hand.
‘There, I know how to make this brighter!’
Mother and daughter grabbed a crayon each and started colouring the pieces. They joked and laughed and argued what colours were best. The Annie also brought some glitter from her art-and-craft box to put the finishing touches.
In the picture they could see a vibrant, beautiful, soulful, woman. Her energy filled up the room. She was full of calm feminine strength and self-assurance. She knew who she was. She knew where she was headed. And she had a name….
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A few years ago I did a short course with Marney Makridakis called Passionate Packages Tied Up With Strings. The goal of the course was to have the participants follow an easy, fun structure to create an ebook in the 5 weeks before Christmas. And I actually did write an ebook with a story and a bunch of creative activities to help mums build their majigsaw puzzles. I almost completed it and then… I did nothing. My ebook didn’t seem ‘good enough’ to me.
Recently I found my notes. I re-read what I’d written and it had me in tears. I could so recognise myself in the story! I still feel very vulnerable sharing what I wrote back then, but I’ve come a long way since then and I cannot not share it.
Passionate Packages start again on Monday! What ebook are you carrying inside of you? Come and play, and find out!