The inspiration for my story is this post from June 2011, "The choices we make that choose us":
It can hard not to feel faintly (or overtly) accused when people you respect and admire make different choices from the choices you've made. Or the choices that made you: the choices that erupted from nowhere - the volcanic variety - and shaped you. ...The choice not to have children is not actually an event, it is a continuum......We have made a life for ourselves, hewn it out of raw materias, carved it from the landscape. There are rich rewards for this kind of life, and there are penalties too, and you show me the kind of life where that isn't true. ...Parenthood is something other than the pinnacle of existence. But this is because existence is a continuum too. There's no pointy end. ...I couldn't have made an informed choice about motherhood before I had babies (how could I have known what it would be like?), I choose this life. I choose these kids. I choose this me – because of and despite everything.
I hope you love Missy and can forgive her the choices that she made and didn't make and the choices that have made her. Personally I think she is too hard on herself. I wanted to write about characters who faced different obstacles and different potential outcomes from my own experience. This is one of the "Lotta" stories, a series of short stories featuring characters whose lives are touched (sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly, like Missy) by a four year old girl Lotta, who changes the way they see their own circumstances. Another of these stories featured in Issue 6 of Kill Your Darlings.
The other story, Lost and Found by Kirstyn McDermott, is a story of the restorative power of child's play, and the strange territory somewhere between real and pretend that we all (but especially children) navigate daily (think about this the next time you hand over money for things - how easily the world comes unstitched). As regular readers of this blog know this is one of my very favourite themes, so Kate Eltham has done a brilliant job as guest curator and matchmaker.
A Necessary Labour and Lost and Found are available for the bargain price of $2.99 and you might want to check out some of the other issues too, some of my very favourite authors are on there.