“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
The three of them had slowly migrated books from the old nursery up to the attic. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was a favorite of Claire’s and the children’s. The children especially loved the Lobster Quadrille. Robbie would chuckle to himself and never seemed to tire of hearing the dialogue between the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon. Claire would lose herself in the dreamlike quality of the narrative until Alice’s grave statement about not going back to yesterday would pull her out of her reverie. It was the one un-dreamlike thing in the Lobster Quadrille, Claire thought. “I could tell you my adventures – beginning from this morning,” she would read in her Alice voice and she would then pause, thinking hard, like she was on the verge of remembering something quite important, until the children would pat her impatiently to continue.
Once the children were tucked away under the airy white linens, that were always fresh as the day they’d pilfered them straight from the laundry room, she would remove herself gently from Tess’ side and go to the window, prying it open all the way, and sticking her head out into the cool night breeze, kneeling. She felt accidentally devout in that position, but she was pensive. She would bow her head before the heavy moon. Her thoughts would circle back around and around like the center of a stirred pot, to Alice’s words to the Mock Turtle and Gryphon. It was like that for her, Claire knew, like it had been for Alice. But her children were growing, of that she was certain. Robbie grew more slowly now that he was 5 but Tess was an infant and she was outgrowing her clothes.
This was certainly not a dream.