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I recently had the pleasure of reading a story from a woman close to my heart. I met her online and while we are not (YET) bosom buddies – we will one day share a cheesecake together and share about our journey of both being a mother and a writer/author. Elena Aitken just released a new story called Drawing Free.

You know how there are some days when you want to read a good ‘fluff’ story and then there are some days when you want to read a ‘heart wrenching’ story? This is not a fluff. I’ll warn you now.

I literally read Drawing Free in one day. Start to finish. I think it was around 1:30am that my hubby begged me to shut my iPad off. I’m not going to do a review on here – I’ve left one on Amazon and Goodreads already. But what I do want to write about is why this story has stuck with me.

And for the record – those are the stories that I LOVE best. When I can remember the story line and the names and the way my heart twisted at decisions the characters made. Drawing Free is a story that every mother can connect with but most mothers will reject understanding. Yep – its true. If you are a mother and you refuse to acknowledge the underlying truth of this story – then you are lying to yourself. I’m sorry – I know that is a harsh statement, here – have a piece of chocolate 🙂

Before we were mothers, we were women. Women with a passion, with a dream, with a goal. Even before we had the dream, passion and goal of being a mother. Remember that little nugget of inspiration and excitement that would bring a smile to your face whenever you thought of it? Maybe it was to travel. Maybe it was to be a pastry chef and create decadent chocolate desserts for me. Maybe it was to be the CEO of your own company or maybe .. just maybe … it was to be a best selling author. Either way – there was/is a passion buried deep in your heart that you had BEFORE you were a mother.

For some women, once we become a partner in life with someone and have children, we lose ourselves in the daily role of becoming caretakers. We have a tendency to place ourselves last when it comes to our children. Especially our children. We put everything else on hold for them, from the moment we discover we have a miracle growing inside of us, or from the moment we hold that little one in our arms – they are our primary focus.

Some women able to continue to nurture their passions while taking care of their children. Some aren’t. Some put their lives on hold until they are no longer needed. Sad  but true. That is what Drawing Free is about. A woman who realizes she’s lost herself. There is one moment when the overwhelming sensation of her loss takes hold and she makes a bold, rash decision.

I found myself a teeny bit jealous. But just a teeny bit.

Here’s one thing to remember – Drawing Free is a fictional story. I love how Elena used her creativity to build a story out of one rash decision. The MC runs away and has no care for the consequences of her decisions. For a brief amount of time she ignores reality. Wouldn’t that be nice? Wouldn’t it be a welcome relief for even one moment to make a decision totally based on the here and now and NOT have to worry about how it will affect everything else? I’ll admit – not all the decision made were smart. But they were real decisions. I could see it happening. I can understand it happening. Even if they are not decision I would make – many women do.

Many women. Yep, I said it. Many. Because to be honest – if you were desperate to find yourself again, wouldn’t you do anything and everything possible to make that happen?

When a mother runs away it’s not always a calculated decision. Its not the right decision, but its not the wrong one either. Sometimes we need to. Even if its to the grocery store or the coffee shop or even to the book store where you can buy a cup of coffee and lose yourself amongst shelves of books. The underlying plot of this story – for me at least – is that a mother ran away to find herself. I do it every day. I might not leave my children on a whim and tell my husband to deal with it – but I lose myself in my stories. I’ll take off after dinner and not bring any of my begging children with me to buy a loaf of bread that I know is already in the freezer. I’ll run away to find my sanity.

Have you ever locked yourself in the bathroom for a moment of peace? Yep, you’ve run away then too.

Buy the book. Read the story. Don’t’ judge the character for the rash decisions she made. Just understand the desire, the need, the longing behind those decisions.

Elena Aitken – you did good 🙂

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