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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something suitable for CHILDREN (05/31/07)

TITLE: Tuesdays with Tilly
By Jennifer Wetter
06/07/07


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“Mama,” a small hand tugged at my leg. “Why is the sky blue?”

I shrugged lost in my thought, “Well perhaps it’s God’s favorite color, Tilly.”

Her inquisitive blue eyes suggested that an argument about God’s favorite color would soon ensue.

“Mama, God’s favorite color isn’t blue,” she insisted. “It’s white, that’s why he has so many angels.”

I managed to stifle a grin and a bout of laughter. We all knew it was never best to argue with a four year old. I nodded and wandered back to my thoughts.

“Why don’t you go watch some television,” I said pointing to the living room.

Tilly smiled trudging off for Big Bird and Barney’s daily visit.

Her curly hair framed her face like a golden halo. Specks of green swan in her sea colored eyes. She was a perfect replicate of a tiny cherub. I smiled knowing she’s my little cherub. I just wished she’d stay this age forever.

Moments later my thoughts were once again interrupted. “Mama, why can’t I fly?”

“God meant for little girls’ feet,” I muttered, “to be firmly on the ground.

My temples began to throb and my eyes began to pulsate. Frustration and tension was slowly building through my system.

“Please go watch television,” I suggested. “Mama needs some time to think, honey.”

Five minutes later my moments of solitude were once again interrupted.

“Mama, why do chickens lay eggs?” Tilly pondered. “Why do frogs croak?”

I raged through clenched teeth, “That’s what God wanted them to do, Tilly.”

Silently my daughter looked at the expression of my lips, redness in my face and quickly decided Double Jeopardy was over.

However, children are persistent and patience even when there parent’s aren’t.
“Mama, why did the chicken cross the road,” Tilly’s voice trudged through the kitchen.

“To be eaten by little girl’s who ask too many question,” I yelled.

She shuddered in panic by my angry outburst. Tears began flooding down her frightened face.
Overwhelmed by guilt and disgust I reached to pull my daughter into a well wrapped hug. Instead she reached me first, her small arms wrapped tightly around my neck. Tears flooded down my face just as they did hers.

“Mama, why are you crying,” she whispered. “Do you miss, daddy.”

I gasped surprised by how perceptive by young daughter was. I nodded and pulled her even closer in my arms.

“I miss your daddy very much, sweetheart,” I said. “There’s an empty hole in my heart right.”

She sniffled, “But I thought that’s what God was for, mama.”

I shrugged, “Sometimes it is but He’s awfully hard to find right now.”

“Mama, are you still mad at God,” Tilly asked. “For what happened to daddy.”

In truth I was and I couldn’t even hide that anger from my own daughter. My husband died over a year ago. He was killed by a drunk driver one night after a church football game. I’d sworn and blamed God for the accident saying he shouldn’t have allowed it to happen. God never offered a response or explanation just continual frustration and silence.

“Mama, maybe God needed him more than we did,” Tilly replied. “You said daddy was in heaven with Jesus waiting for us.”

Slowly I began wiping the tears from my eyes. My child had more insight into heaven than I’d ever known.

Tilly grinned, “Daddy’s having a tea party with grandma, Jesus, Big Bird and Scooby Doo.”

I laughed at my daughter’s image of heaven. Carefully I trudged around disrupting another moment of childhood bliss.

“Why Big Bird and Scooby Doo, I asked.”

She shook her head. “Daddy promised to invite them to the tea party for me.”

I sniffled awed at the legacy my husband left behind.

“Lord,” I whispered. “Forgive me for my anger. Please teach me how to better trust and rely on your strength instead of mine. Thank you for the blessing of my little girl.”

“Mama,” a small voice interrupted my thoughts. “Can we go to the park now, please?”

I smiled full of peace for the first time in months. It would take time but I was sure Tilly and I would be fine. “Go and get your coat, sweetheart.”

Hand and hand we walked to the park. Smiles were on our faces and a little joy was in out hearts.

A small hand tugged at my leg. “Mama, why is Big Bird yellow?”

I sighed; after all it was just another Tuesday with Tilly.


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This article has been read 461 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Emily Blakely06/07/07
Your story captures well a real-life situation with insight into both characters. Unfortunately many people stay away from the topic of loss through death when it should be talked about more openly. Good writing.
Jacquelyn Horne06/07/07
Wonderful, encouraging writing. A lot packed into a few words.
Janna Kampen06/11/07
A touching article that shows how intuitive children are and how we can learn from them.

I wouldn't consider it for children though, but for adults. Children's articles need to be written from the child's point of view, at least to be most published, according to my children's writing course. It would be great to read a story about Tilly's point of view of missing her Dad and watching her mom.
julie wood06/13/07
I loved this story! I could just hear Tilly--who is the kind of four-year-old I remember being, exasperating my grandma with my endless questions. Wonderful dialogue and realistic portrayal of a child's vivid imagination and fresh outlook on life, as well as of a parent's typical reaction.

In paragraph 8, the word "replicate" should be "replica." Also, this story does seem like one better suited for adults, since it's written from the mom's point of view. A delightful devotional story for parents!

Great title, too--I liked the alliteration and the use of a personal name, which sparked my curiosity.