“Wendy! Emma! Let’s go!” Regina stood at the bottom of the stairs holding Freya in her arms. It was only a matter of moments before the sound of soft pattering could be heard rushing through the halls. It was rare for her to listen so fast, but then the familiar sound that reminded Regina of an elephant stomping rang out and the brunette rolled her eyes.
“Come here!” Emma came tumbling down the stairs and Regina exhaled as she saw her chasing a black kitten.
“Win-deeee!” Freya yelled with a giggle and a clap. Putting the 2 year old down, Regina bent her barely showing pregnant body down, squatting so that the kitten could come up to her.
“Gwendolyn Coraline Swan-Mills. You are not going to your brother’s graduation as a cat. So I suggest you march right back upstairs and let Mama put on your dress so that we can leave.” Without warning, the little girl appeared, naked as the day she was born, green eyes wide, with a big smile on her face.
“Okay Mommy.” She kissed Regina on the cheek quickly, and ran back upstairs.
“Why does she listen to you?” Emma said still breathing hard. “I’ve been trying to catch her for the last 15 minutes, but as a cat she is so fast!”
“Maybe if you stopped letting her use magic as a toy when I’m not around, she’d listen to you.” Regina looked at her watch. “Please get some clothes on her…and make sure she is wearing her pendant!” They were going to be late to Henry’s high school graduation at this rate. She looked around beneath her, realizing that Freya must have waddled off sometime during their conversation.
“Freya dear,” she said walking through the mansion, heels clicking on the hardwood floor. Finding her daughter in the formal living room, she smiled as the flower in front of the window started blooming. “There you are my little gardener.”
“Mommy look! Pretty!” Regina nodded, picking up the little sorceress and bopping her on the nose.
“It’s very pretty.” Regina stroked the leaves and Frey continued waving her hands, revitalizing dead blooms.
“We’re ready!” Emma called from the foyer not 10 minutes later. Dressed in a black and white dress, to compliment the blondes own black pants and white button down dress shirt, Wendy was bouncing up and down on the hardwood, obviously in a hurry.
“Come on mama, we haves ta go see Henry! We don’t wanna be late,” she rushed with her hands on her tiny hips, as if she had been waiting for them then entire time instead of the other way around. Regina arched an eyebrow and shook her head. The girl reminded her more of herself every day. It was maddening.
“Okay ladies, are we ready?” Emma said, taking Freya from her wife.
“Yes!” the youngest girl said, brunette curls bouncing on her shoulders as she nodded her head. She too had Emma’s eyes, but Regina’s long glorious dark hair. At least Freya looked a bit more like her. As Wendy had gotten older, Regina’s features seem to settle in, and now she was a miniature Regina, personality and all, with Emma’s eyes. She hoped the newest one, still in the womb and barely a month along, would come out a little more like herself.
They piled into the sedan Regina had insisted she buy for the kids and headed to Storybrooke High School. Henry had gotten Charming to drop him off earlier in the day, knowing his mothers would not have been able to do it with the girls. As valedictorian, he needed to be there early enough to dress and prepare.
The Swan-Mills family clambered out of the car and rushed into the auditorium, glad to see some empty seats in the front row had been saved for them. Charming’s blonde head was easily recognizable, and the ladies sat quickly, Emma holding Freya in her arms.
“We were wondering if you’d make it,” Snow whispered in Regina’s ear. “We had to cross realms and still made it before you.”
“Well your namesake thought it’d be funny to see who was faster, Emma or her in cat form,” Regina smiled. “Emma’s not that fast.” The two brunettes shared a laugh as the lights were dimmed.
The ceremony progressed at an almost drowsy rate for Emma as the guest speaker, some famous war council member or another, droned on and on. Then it was the principal and some teachers. She looked down and noticed Freya had almost dozed off in her lap and Wendy didn’t seem too far behind. It was on her fourth head roll that Henry finally stepped up to the platform. She nudged the tiny person next to her and pointed up.
“Henry!” the child yelled, leading her brother to throw a wave and a smile in her direction
“Storybrooke Class of 2019. We made it!” The crowd of students erupted into howls and screams. “Yeah I was worried about a few of you. Repeating the same grade for 28 years.” There were a few laughs.
“I know it’s no secret, that I have been lost, many a time. I think many of us heard of the Neverland fiasco 5 years ago. I was struggling to find a way to safety in a foreign land. For many of us, life post-graduation will be like that. We’ve never had to make it on our own. Some of us have been here in this same spot for over 30 years… Thanks mom,” Henry gave a grin to his brunette mother as a few in the crowd let out a laugh.
“There is no doubt that it can be overwhelming,” he continued. “Probably more so, as I knew my mothers were coming for me. But as adults navigating the precarious waters of life….what do we do when it feels scary? Well, I’m here to tell you. We drop our anchor.
I think Storybrooke itself is a symbol of what it will mean to us. it resides along the coast, a piece of land for us to return to when the waters of life get rough. And like any traveler, when we need a place to stay, we use our anchor: Home.
See we never know what will await us. Whether we decide to go forth into earth’s realm for work or college, or even go to the Enchanted forest to begin our lives, we can be tossed aside, thrown overboard. But when we find land, and drop that anchor, we know we are safe. Let us not forget that we will always have a safe port here in Storybrooke. Let us not lose that anchor, home and family.
I remember my Ma telling me, that home was a place, that when you left, you missed it. I don’t think she even thought she’d find that place. I remember thinking I’d never find that place. But it’s true. Storybrooke is that safe harbor where you drop your anchor. You can always be yourself, be honest; heck you have to be if you have my ma,” the crowd laughed. “But you are always safe to do so.” Henry looked down at the front row, a grin on his face.
“Maybe your anchor includes a mom and a dad. Maybe two moms or two dads. Add in a couple of screaming toddlers and an uncle that’s 13 years younger than you. See that anchor is connected to all those links in the chain…and that chain will hold you. Keep you steady. Give you the stability you need when you come in from the treacherous waters.” Henry cleared his throat, willing the emotion away.
“So let’s go forth. To the earth realm, explore the Enchanted Forest. Lets become doctors, lawyers, council men, or whatever it is we want to be. But as we do so, let’s not lose sight of where we come from, what we as a people have endured. Curses- no offense mom, Giants, Wicked Witches and a never ending Freeze. And let’s not forget what helped us through all that. Our anchor: Family. That same anchor will help us through any obstacle we face.