As a single mother, I struggle daily with self-doubt. Am I making the right choices for my children? How to let them run free and still protect them? How to make them careful but not fearful? I constantly try not to let my dark days trickle down to them. The lure of the sea, my anger at Cilaniestra’s callous disregard for the individuals in Her watery realm, how to hide thr truth of our selkie existence from the mortals in Lighthaven. The children’s laughter brighten my days, but sometimes at night, I think too much. My soul yearns for the sea, and my heart fears for that day. What will happen to the littles? I need to leave, but they cannot follow and I can’t leave them.  To stand daily on this hard silent land, hearing the songs of the deep but unable to answer, to join in…

Bran took the secret of where my skin is hidden to his grave. That bitch Cilaniestra demanded his ship, the “Hope of Lighthaven” as tithe. I’ve searched everywhere, but his imagination must be stronger than mine because I can’t find it.

And so here we are. Me and the littles, Braeca and Ioain. Living in a lighthouse atop a cliff overlooking Lighthaven, trying to ensure by our Light that no other ships join the Hope of Lighthaven. We’re small warriors against Cilaniestra’s might, but we help those that go out to return again. It’s odd to think that I protect the very beings that imprisoned me, but they’re not to blame for Bran’s selfish actions. I wouldn’t see my friends dead.

Mother…nurturer…protector. They are all the same. Someday my children will grow up to live and work in this village. I wouldn’t deprive them of that. They have friends in town. Braeca goes to school. They go to Mari’s to play with the puppies, and to Bella’s to experience farm living. Sometimes I worry that they’re too isolated up at the Light. What do they think of when they play with their friends who have two parents? Fishermen who never return, storms that eat boats, are a fact of life here. The Wall in The Mermaid Pub lists the names of the lost. I hate them knowing so young how fragile and fleeting life can be. I would shield them from harm, from sadness, from loss if I could. I wish every moment could be filled with sunshine and laughter, with puppies and mud-pies and blueberries and fresh apple cidar. With people who love them.

I guess all we can do is the best we can for our children, and let them know that whether dark or sunny days, we love them always. No matter what.

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