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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: Saving Samuel
By Amy Kuncaitis
01/09/08


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Saving Samuel

"No Mama!" The toddler firmly stated with his arms folded over his chest.

"Oh Samuel, you are always letting me know who's boss around here aren't you?" His mother Julie
snickered while casually putting the dishes from the dishwasher to the cupboard.

"I want a snack." Samuel moved his hands to hips.

When his order was not immediately responded to, his little foot began to tap and soon turned to a full
stomp.

"Give me a snack...NOW!"

"No Samuel, it is too close to supper." Julie continued to put away the dishes.

"I hungry mama, I want a snack!" Samuel persisted now tugging on his mom's shirt, repeating over and
over his desire for a snack.

"Oh, all right. I guess a snack before dinner won't hurt anything." Julie set some fruit snacks on the
table.

Samuel climbed up in his chair, took one look at the fruit snacks and threw them to the ground.

"I wanted cookies not fruit snacks!" Samuel folded his arms in protest.

"Ok, fine. Here's the cookies now just eat your snack like a big boy." Julie quickly picked up the fruit
snacks and exchanged them for the cookies, try to keep Samuel pacified.

This was the daily happenings around their home.

~ Fast forward twelve years. Samuel is now seventeen. ~

Julie was just getting ready to crawl into bed when she heard a knock at the front door.

Who would be at our door at this hour?

Julie threw her bathrobe over her pajamas and hurried down the steps to answer the door.

"Good evening Miss, I picked up your son this evening." The police officer was standing next to
Samuel. "I suspect he and a couple of friends were going to try to sell drugs to..."

"We weren't mom, he is wrong." Samuel blurted in. "We were just hanging out and...we..." Samuel
began to protest the officer.

"Thank you officer, we will certainly take care of this." Julie took her son by the arm and closed the
door.

"Mom, we weren't doing anything, really. We were just in an alley because we...uh...we...were just
hanging out...honest."

"Ok Samuel. Just get up to bed now ok?" Julie just wanted to pretend this night never happened. That
is exactly what she did.

~Fast forward another five years, Samuel is now an adult~

"No, I can't call you boss dear....you are going to have to tell him yourself why you did not show up
for work again...maybe you should look for some help for...you know...the drugs." Julie held the
phone away from her ear as Samuel rant and raved.

"I am sorry Samuel; I can not give you anymore money. I have tried and tried to help you but you have
not held a job more than a few weeks and I believe you may be spending the money I give you
on...well...you know." Julie's eyes filled with tears as her son continued to yell and shout about the
mess his life was and all the reasons it was Julie's fault.

"I have tried to keep the peace by giving you everything you want in your life Samuel. I did not
discipline you or teach you responsibility. As a result, you have made some poor choices and your life
has spun out of control. I can not undo the past but I can change today and so can you. It will take a lot
of hard work and discipline to make positive changes in your life but I know you can do it son." Julie
paused hoping for a positive response from Samuel.

"If you won't give me money mom, this conversation is over."

"I am sorry Samuel."

The dial tone on the other end of the phone left Julie forlorn of hope.

Julie knew she could not go on regretting the way she had raised Samuel. She knew she could never
change the past but she could change the future for herself and hopefully influence Samuel to change his
future. Julie knelt down on her kitchen floor, with her hand still on the telephone, she cried out to God.
She repented for her past mistakes and asked the Lord to restore her life as well as Samuel's. For the
first time in many years, she saw a glimmer of hope. This was the first day of her future and she knew
anything was possible.


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This article has been read 413 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/10/08
A good cautionary tale.

The formatting was a bit distracting--what usually works is to type single-spaced with no indents and no "enters" except to start a new paragraph (like this yellow box is.)

It's amazing how the tone for one's adulthood can be set even as a toddler!
Catrina Bradley 01/10/08
Oh, dear. I could see trouble coming, but not that serious! A sad, but probably all-to-true story. It seems you had a problem with your line breaks, and I saw a few small grammar errors or typos, but your story carries a great message about giving in to our children just to save a hassle. I like the hope at the ending when she finally turned to God. Good job.
Yvonne Blake 01/12/08
Sad story...sadder yet because we know this happens often!
The ending would have been stronger if you stopped after the line, "I'm sorry, Samuel."
Good job...keep writing.
jodie banner01/14/08
What a heartbreaking take on this weeks topic. Those early years are so important.Thank you for reminding me why I have to sometimes say no when yes is so much easier.I bet you wish you could go back in time and hit that preview button.
Sheri Gordon01/14/08
This is a very good illustration of what can happen when a "little" problem is ignored. Your writing is easy to read, and the dialogue seemed real. Nice job with the topic.
Hanne Moon01/16/08
This story was right on topic and so very true! We see this so much today. The format was a little jerky and there were some typos. You needed smoother transitions between the years. Keep up the good work!
Sara Harricharan 01/16/08
Hmmm, what an eye-opener, to see what the little choices have to do with the whole person years from that day. I didn't expect him to be all into drugs, but sadly it turned out that way. I feel for his mother Julie, you did a great job with both characters. I think the spacing got a little mixed up, next time just hit enter for a new paragraph

like that.
Otherwise, great job! ^_^
Temple Miller01/16/08
Totally realistic story, it's almost exactly the tale of someone I know. Sad. I'm sure someone warned the mom along the way, but it's like a snowball; it travels fast and gets larger, almost impossible to handle at a certain point. Great application of the proverb!
Joanne Sher 01/16/08
A cautionary tale for sure. I needed to read this today. Thank you.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/16/08
I liked the hope you offered at the end of your sad story of what happens when requiring obedience is not the first step in teaching a child.
Loren T. Lowery01/16/08
This was a great "cautionary tale" as others have mentioned and carries a lot of weight with you writing style. Aside for the formatting it was well-paced and delivered. You might consider leaving out the title in the body and at the very beginning of your article. This will help to cut down on the word count. Great job.
Tim Pickl01/16/08
Lessons Learned by both the parent and the child! This one reads like a skit for church--excellent writing!