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Her Name is Star

The Dragon Beside Me, Proud ViM Challenge entry

By Hannah MoorePublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - February 2024

Dear H,

Many of us look up to those who inspire us. Not me. I look down. I didn’t find my idol in a book or newspaper, in a classroom or on TV. I gave birth to you. You’re sitting five feet away as I type this, licking icing off your fingers from the cinnamon swirl you made yesterday, and wiping them on your blanket, eyes fixed on an inane series of YouTube shorts. Not inspiration material? Sometimes seeing the cogs makes our heroes all the more inspiring, and you inspire me every day.

You don’t have it easy, I know that. Behind that doll-like face, all innocent eyes and rosebud lips, a sprinkle of freckles kissing the shallow isthmus of your little nose, your brain dances off the prevailing beat, freestyling in the space made by the immutable grooves of music, a jazz virtuoso never breaching the cardinal rules, but whirling to an unfathomable cacophony none the less.

It is a good brain. A magnificent brain. For all its struggles to step in time, it perceives things with a clarity often lacking in people twice your age. I remember walking with you on a hot pavement, your small hand in mine, while you explained to me your realisation that it was not the thing you were afraid of that you were most afraid of, but in fact the experience of fear itself. You were seven then, I think, and your relationship with fear has not grown more gentle for the realisation.

Anxiety is as much a part of your life as hunger, a frequent visitor who honestly has your best interests at heart, but like a dog cleaning your face with its tongue, leaves you worse off than you would have been without it. And this is what makes you brave. I know this, as before you, I was one of the bravest people I knew. I know the burden of fear, welded to your back, a crucifix in spine crushing metal, and I know the will it takes to walk on. Even downhill leaves you panting, but every bump in the road, every upwards climb, jars and judders the fabric of you. I know the temptation to plant that load into the ground where you stand and forsake pleasure and experience and LIFE.

But you don’t. You want to, oh, I know you want to, I am there to catch the tears and hear the crying, but at the last, you keep moving. More than that, with the cross still upon your back, you dance. You turn up at school, you join the clubs, you try out the new experiences, you build the relationships. A week or so ago, you and your friend were in the same situation. One of you chose to say something to a third girl, not meant to hurt, but hurtful none the less. One of you did not. “There’s this stereotype,” I said “of autistic people blurting out what’s on their mind without thinking of how it might affect someone, but it seems to me your peers do that more than you do.” “What is something that you are not very good at, and I am?” she asked. I offered cooking, to my shame. “Well you have to think hard about how to do all the steps, but I don’t, so I’m not paying as much attention. Which one of us is more likely to make a mistake?” I forget, sometimes, when you come home and meltdown, just how much each day takes for you.

And yet, like the stars, you do not dim. Your creativity streaks in undulous Aurora across the sky, and your passions swirl like black holes, bending light and time. And your love. Oh my darling, your love. Your love soothes and mangles, emboldens and erodes, and guides me through each day.

I try to teach you not to be perfect, because no one is, no one can be. And you’re not. You’re more. You’re so much grander than perfect. You are not a star, you are a constellation. You are all the constellations, and the stories that go with them, that tell us how it is to be strong willed, to be impassioned, to love, to give kindness and gentleness and ferocity, to be brave, to be frightened, to be flawed, to be honest and angry and compassionate, to jest and to play and to learn, these are all your stories, my lovely, wonderful human. And all the potency of them dances within you, my magnificent girl.

Let me tell you this. To aspire to be a woman your daughter might mistake for an echo of her own voice is to create music to dance to, however heavy the burden we carry.


Written for the Proud ViM Productions The Dragon Beside Me challenge below:


About the Creator

Hannah Moore

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  4. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

  5. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (43)

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  • John Cox29 days ago

    Just came back to say congrats!

  • A. J. Schoenfeldabout a month ago

    Well deserved runner up win. Congratulations. I loved this so much as a writer, a mother, and a daughter. It spoke to my soul.

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Yayyyyyy you wonnnn!!! Congratulations!! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Alyssa Nicoleabout a month ago

    Congratulations, Hannah! 🎉This is such a beautiful tribute to your amazing daughter!

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    Fabulous, congratulations!! 😍

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Hey there! Congrats. Of all those I read, this was my favourite. 👏

  • Paul Stewartabout a month ago

    Oh yay, congrats on another fine runner up spot! Love this piece, Hannah!

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    What a wonderful story, Hannah! I'm not sure how I missed it until now, but oh, my, what an evocative, personal and heartfelt tribute! Congratulations on Runner Up and a story that's worth so much more recgotnittion!

  • Judey Kalchik about a month ago

    I need this on a mousepad, a tshirt, an enamel pin: 'You are not a star, you are a constellation."

  • Natasha Collazo2 months ago

    Also.. the way you read her like the beautiful story she is, sensitive to every motive behind an action, and so self aware! "I forget, sometimes, when you come home and meltdown, just how much each day takes for you." You are a phenomenal mother!

  • Natasha Collazo2 months ago

    And this is why you are one of my favs on this platform! You had me feeling so empowered by this sweet angel. She is so admirable. GREAT JOB!

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    Your stat is challenging your story is so beautiful you write like this you will be a great writer I wish and yes one more thing please open my vocal id and a story come later

  • Joe O’Connor2 months ago

    Just beautiful. She sounds like a wonderful daughter - definitely deserving of top story!

  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    Damn oh damn, you had me a little wet in the eyes and also smiling big. Beautiful wrok, Hannah and well done on a fine and deserving Top Story! Just...yeah...your writing is always just a breath of fresh air! :)

  • Daphsam2 months ago

    Congratulations on your top story well-deserved.

  • olymoolla2 months ago

    Your stories are very beautiful and your story is admirable. Kindly open my vocal ID and read a story and comment about the story. This is my request to you.

  • What words could I employ...Beautiful seems too small

  • ROCK 2 months ago

    Oh my dear person, this breaks me. I remember all the early years with my overly sensitive self, my special bonus children and finally my own child. Do we have to make life so neuro-typical and boring? This won my heart 💜❤️💜

  • Rene Peters2 months ago

    This is gorgeous! Also, congrats on top story, very well deserved!

  • Anna 2 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳

  • Carol Townend2 months ago

    What a warm and loving story. You have won my heart with this; it is a gorgeous story.

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    Hannah this was so emotional and beautifully written!! This was so inspiring for me and I love it!! Great work and congrats on Top Story!!

  • Caroline Jane2 months ago

    This is amazing Hannah. I want to cry! You are such a wonderful Mother. ❤️❤️❤️

  • D.K. Shepard2 months ago

    This is such a heartfelt piece! Absolutely overflowing with love for your daughter!

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