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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

By Elaine McDonald


My Own

“I’ve got to take Brent and drive into town today and get him a coat.” I told my husband as we sat and drank our morning coffee.

“Yeah, how come?”

“The weather is going to drop to the 20's tomorrow and Brent has outgrown his coat.”

“You don’t have one of the other boys’ old coats?”

“No, this coat was the last hand-me down and he has grown so fast it doesn’t fit anymore.”
My husband stood up to give me a kiss as he prepared to go to work. “Well you two be careful. I’ll see you this afternoon. Love you.”

I heaved a sigh and finished the last bit of coffee. I knew I had better get to moving if I was going to get the other two boys up to catch the bus.

We live in a rural area and I could not find a coat for him in the limited stores we had in our area, so I had to drive into a bigger city. Brent was so excited that we were going shopping for him a coat. He sang all the way into town. As I watched him, I could see him bubbling over with excitement. Every few minutes I heard the usual question, “How much further Mom?”

“We’re here” I told him as I pulled into a parking space.

“Eeeeee” Brent screamed. “Finally!”

I had to hold his hand tightly to keep him from wenching free from me. He was pulling me across the parking lot, telling me to hurry. I could not understand why such excitement over coming into town. He had been here numerous times.

As I pulled out one coat after another in my price range, Brent just shook his head no.
Exasperated I said “You have got to choose one. I’m tired and ready to go.”

“I don’t like those” and folded his arms and looked up at me.

I once more began looking through the coats when Brent started yelling, “That one, that one!”

I pulled the coat out and tried it on him. It was a perfect fit and he loved it. This works for me I thought as I turned the price tag around. “Oh no, honey we can’t take this one.”

“Why not! I like it!”

“I know honey, but it is more than Mama can pay.”

“Please Mama please, I want it” pouching out his bottom lip and looking up at me with those big begging eyes.

As big crocodile tears began rolling down his face and I knew I had to buy that coat. “Let me think.” I began to think over my budget trying to figure where I could cut it. I could cook dinner Sunday after church instead of going out to eat. I did so enjoy eating out. A meal that I did not have to prepare or clean up. I smiled and stooped down to my son and said “Ok, we’ll get this one.”

Brent grabbed me and smothered me in kisses. “Thank you, Mama!”

Brent would not let them put the coat in a bag, and he insisted on wearing it. He was grinning from ear to ear. As we walked out of the store, he kept rubbing the arms of the coat and saying, “It’s all mine. It’s all mine. It’s all mine!” “ Mama, God made a coat just for me! He really does love me. Doesn’t he Mama?”

Then I realized Brent had never owned a coat that was only his. He had always had a hand-me down from his brothers.

Suddenly the missed Sunday dinner was worth every dish I had to clean!

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This article has been read 668 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne03/09/07
Heartwarming story. Some typos, etc but generally, very good writing. Good job.
Kathie Thomas03/11/07
Lovely story - we do forget we don't see things the same way kids do and it's important we share with them. I know the hand-me-down stories too! Well done, but do take care to proof-read before submitting.
Patty Wysong03/12/07
My kids go through this all the time. Hand-me-downs are great, but sometimes it's worth pinching pennies to get something brand new for one of them!! =) We just did this last week with shoes for my youngest. Keep writing!!
LaNaye Perkins03/12/07
I loved your story. It is very sweet and touched my heart.
Donna Powers 03/14/07
Very, very nice and heartwarming. God bless the boy and his mom. Nice work!
Deborah Porter 03/20/07
Elaine, I was thinking this was a quite nice piece all the way through, but the ending was the high point. It brought tears to my eyes.

The ending really was the strength of the story. My only suggestion would be to make the start a little more attention-grabbing. It wasn't bad, but it could have done with a bit more of a hook to keep the reader going right through to that lump in the throat ending.

Other than that, I see so much potential in your writing and really encourage you to keep honing your skill and entering the Challenge.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator and Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine)