It was a great day to be four years old. The summer sun was shining, my best friend was playing at my house, we had wild imaginations, and a bunk bed without a ladder. It was the perfect combination of crazy and glorious and my imagination imploded.
The adventure was somehow getting from the floor to the top bunk. In lieu of a ladder, we found boxes stacked precariously between the headboard and the wall, which served as a staircase-mountain-ladder right to the top bunk. So BriAnne and I climbed. And then we played victoriously on the top bunk. We had defied all odds--parents, rules, and laws of gravity and possibility and 4 year old abilities. We were queens.
And then we got bored. We didn't have any toys up there, we weren't supposed to be there! So we decided to climb back down. Enter problem. The boxes were not very stable and I was frightened to climb down them for fear of tumbling to my death. BriAnne was not so frightened and successfully climbed down and then left me stranded on the top bunk. I had two choices: die alone on the top bunk or find a way down.
With He-Man (forget She-Ra) as my example, I grabbed the afghan on the bed and flung myself over the side, parachuting to the floor and safety. Except the afghan was tucked in and I merely hung in the balance between the floor and the bunk. Now my 4 year old depth perception was not at the peak of its game (I still don't believe it is) and I thought I was very close to the floor, so I let go. At this exact moment, BriAnne walked into the kitchen to our parents and told them I was stranded on the top bunk. A loud THUMP! instantly followed her proclamation and the moms went scrambling to my rescue. My mom always came to my rescue. This turned into an awesome story at preschool and for two whole days, everyone wanted to be me.
Fast-forward to age 23. I had proverbially flung myself off of many bunk beds in those ensuing 19 years and without fail, Mommabear was always there to rescue me, or at least soothe me in the aftermath. Except now I was flinging myself off of many top bunks wanting desperately to be rescued but Mommabear wasn't coming anymore. A year after her death I was still throwing hissy fits trying to get her attention, but it just doesn't work like that anymore. I decided that truly nobody likes you when you're 23, not even God.
So I moved to California.
Once there I Vada Sultenfussed around trying to put pieces of Mommabear (from long before she was Mommabear) together, fill in my little void, rip apart the chains of my past and be my own Theresa. I succeeded at all of my objectives all the while flailing around like an attention starved toddler in a tiara. Well, maybe an attention starved 12 year old in a tiara (NOTE: I did not wear tiaras when I was 12. I changed my name every half hour). And instead of finding freedom in all of this discovery about Mommabear and myself, I became clingy and even more desperate. Except on the outside I would appear to the normal human eye to be stable, well-adjusted, and adventurous.
In the throes of 25, I became engaged and suddenly my self-serving plea for attention stopped. I just tired of it in my preparation for life as one with another person. I allowed the chaos I bombarded myself with to stop (which was good because the Army has presented me with enough chaos, it doesn't need my help. Better to save my energy) and I became peaceful and calm and stopped crying all the time. And I prayed more. And God blessed me. And I found Mommabear comforting me again. And I am happy.
No more flinging myself off of top bunks for me, but I do jump on the bed, laugh and snort a lot, and partake of crazy, life-affirming adventures. And almost set my dress on fire on my wedding day :)