Like many adults do I am realizing the extent to which trauma of a nasty divorce is showing up in my life and in particular my relationships. I also don’t have many memories of my childhood and it makes it very hard to reconcile my current experience with past experiences. I recently found some stories I wrote as that child and since I don’t remember them I am able to hold space for that child. When I read them I was sad for the child who wrote them – the child who I no longer know.
The Lost Mitten
Written and Illustrated by Rachele Millswater
Amanda lost her mitten during a blizzard. She looked everywhere but she could not find her mitten. So when the blizzard cleared up we found the mitten. Another blizzard came along and Amanda lost her mitten again. That year we could never find her mitten. We even called the detective and he could not find it and he was the best detective ever. When Amanda got home her mom said, “What happened to your mitten?” Amanda said, “I lost it in the blizzard.” Her mom said “Oh” and they got on with their evening. In the morning, we woke up and it was snowing that day so she put on a different pair of mittens. After we got all bundled up we went outside. We had gone inside inside for awhile to watch the weather. It said, “There will be a blizzard warning from 12:00am to 12:00pm.” At about 5:00pm Amanda’s mom told her to go to the store to buy some food. When she was walking home the blizzard had started and she lost her mitten again. When she got home her mom said, “Where is your mitten?” Amanda said “I lost it in the blizzard.” Amanda’s mom said “Go out and find that mitten. Those were one hundred dollar mittens.” So Amanda walked out into the cold blizzard. When Amanda’s mom thought of the word blizzard she went outside and yelled, “Amanda come home I’m sorry.” But there was no sound. Amanda kept on looking for her mitten but she could not find her mitten. It was dark and cold. Amanda was very scared. At dawn she found her mitten. She started walking back home with her mitten. When she got in the house she said to her mom, “I’m never going to wear my mittens out in a blizzard again.” Her mom hugged her and said, “I missed you very much.” That’s the story of The Lost Mitten.
Gah – I want to hug that little girl. She was 8 years old and in the third grade but I don’t remember her. I don’t remember where she lived or what she liked to do or what scared her. I can see parts of her childhood in that story – a little kid who could never do anything right, parents who made her do things she shouldn’t have to do at that age, being in the middle of a storm and being scared and cold, having parents who were selfish and weren’t able to put her best interests first. Her parents were young – at 8 years old, her mom was 25 and her dad was 28 – they didn’t know any better. It intrigues me that she wrote the story as if it was happening to someone else, Amanda, and not her – she was supporting Amanda.