The turning of the page

“I will not turn the pag…”

“And I will not wait!”

Maia hadn’t even finish her expression of revulsion when her sentence was cut short by Runa.

Her mother, who looked on as she leaned against the doorframe of the girls’ bedroom, had been explaining to her daughters for 364 days that at midnight on December 31, they would need to turn the page. Not a minute before, not a minute later. She had already prepared the table in the room – like a party – for the countdown of the family, since it was imperative that everyone turn their pages together.

But now, with five minutes left before the ritual, the girls would not even leave the room.

“I’m not going to turn the page and that’s it,” said Maia, sitting on top of the open notebook on page 2.017 “The notebook is mine, the drawings are mine, you can not have it. Besides, I did not even color everything I had on this page. It’s not fair mother! The drawing I did in the corner was horrendous, I want to erase and draw again and can not do it in 5 minutes! I will not turn! I will not, I will not. I do not want to have this horrendous drawing and the bad colors engraved on this page forever!”

Among the mother’s other responsibilities, it was also her role to explain that once the pages were turned, it would not be possible to go back to correct, retouch or enhance anything that was on the previous page.

“And I will not listen to this pointless discussion and expect an even more meaningless countdown to turn my page. Why does it have to be like this mother?” Runa retorted impatiently, “I’ve been ready to turn for days, the notebook is mine! I do not have anything else to do on this page, I do not like anything that’s in it, it does not make sense to keep it open by flipping it open if I can and turn the page and start drawing on a blank sheet. What a stupid thing to have to wait, mother!”

As was her maternal role, she also explained that we can not escape the things we do not like on the pages by turning the page before the right moment. We need to deal with them for 365 days, not a minute more or a minute less. It was 3 minutes to midnight.

“Do not look with that face, mother!” cried Maia and Runa together, staring at the facial expression of their mother, who incredibly, managed to convey firmness and compassion, order and desolation.

She had received the same instructions when she was little. It was her role to keep the flow of the family’s pages turning. After all, what could happen if one turned around? What if the other one turned around? Maybe they would never meet again in time. One would finish the notebook before, the other might never end. And on what page would she be as a mother so she could accompany her daughters?

No! It was her duty to maintain the order of the family, passed down from generation to generation.

“Either you turn these pages, as you agreed, or I’ll take your notebook and turn the pages myself!”

Image from the game Dixit.

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