I wanted to be Anne. I wanted to see the world through Raspberry Cordial and flaming orange braids. I wanted to plow fields with Matthew and carry a cardboard suitcase and collect eggs for Marilla. I longed for the red sands of Prince Edward Island and the romance of Avonlea. I wanted a bosom friend, a kindred spirit and a Gilbert of my very own. I wanted to live within the pages of Montgomery, hearing the 1908 scratch of quill on paper as she penned the words in the twilight hours, overlooking the meadows of Cavendish. I wanted to be Anne with an 'E' because that was so much more dignified.
Hours of my childhood, tucked into the cozy nook of family, listening to the soft voice of my mother or the expressive timbre of my father - chapter after chapter with a daily chorus of 'please, just one more?' And riding the ferry to the Island and standing on that green, green lawn and gazing upon the same green gables that inspired a story and touching the flowered wallpaper that she touched and it was perfect and beautiful.
And when she's old enough, I'll curl Noa into myself and we'll huddle under a quilt on the back porch and turn the pages and read the charming words that will make her wish for red hair and freckles and a dear friend like Dianna.
And when the boys run wild through grandpa's field, throwing sticks and chasing bugs I like to imagine them in suspenders and trousers and corduroy hats because it's somehow pure and delightful - that world without Pokemon or Playstation.
And when he comes in from the cold and slips those chilling fingers up the back of my shirt as I stand at the sink and I scream and he laughs I think, there he is. There is my Gilbert. Dipping my braids into the ink bottle. Just because he loves me.