Well, I’m doing this insanity once more. I really need to have my head examined. I have never finished a novel I have set out to write over the course of the last several years. But, I have had more success with short stories. So, this year I am writing a collection of short stories entitled Solar Powered Dog and Other Assorted Tales and am basing them off Erikson’s psychosocial development stages. Here’s an excerpt from a chapter dealing with Care and Generativity.
Holly was a nervous sort. She liked to claim that nervousness was her great aunt’s domain, but it was something that they shared, something that united them. Matilda hadn’t raised Holly from the time she was a small child, she had instead stepped in when Holly was in her teens and Holly’s father had decided that she needed a woman’s touch. It was perhaps an antiquated feeling to have, but Matilda was pleased to have the time with her great-niece.
There’s had never been a typical relationship; Matilda was not necessarily the mothering sort. Her own husband had died young; a victim of a car accident, and Matilda had never found the need to remarry. She had her friends, her family as it was, and her work which kept her occupied. But as she approached retirement and her nephew George had an existential crisis about raising a teenage daughter on his own, she was pleased to step into this new role.
It didn’t take long for her to realize that perhaps she had underestimated the work and emotional toll it would take raising Holly. Matilda had been under the misapprehension that a girl of 14 would be nearly raised, and would instead need a chaperone of sorts to help her make decisions about impending adulthood. This did not turn out to be the case.
Ten years later Matilda and Holly’s relationship had reached the place that she assumed it would have started, with Matilda weighing in time and again about various choices. She often wondered if she had made the best possible choices in her time with Holly, but she was certain that she had done her best. It certainly wasn’t a simple task helping a witch come into her own.
But now she had concerns, real concerns about how Holly would be able to balance life outside the one that she and Matilda lived in with the real world out there beyond their doors. Matilda had not kept Holly from the world, in fact she had made the clear and conscious choice to keep Holly mainstreamed in her education and away from those who would have kept Holly, and Matilda, ensconced in a coven. That was not a real path to life, to Matilda’s view, but now that her darling niece was making the transition from child to adult, she worried. She also worried about Holly dating someone whom she had not met. Matilda had always managed to screen possible boyfriends before. However this one had managed to sneak through.
Matilda knew better than to worry. But this was her Holly, out in the world with a stranger. It would be impractical for Matilda not to worry. So for now she waited for Holly to return home to her.