Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)
TITLE: Why Not?
By V. Joy Ocasio
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Mary looked up from the bills she was working on at the kitchen table. Her seven-year-old daughter, Amanda, burst through the door just then.
“Mommy, you’ll just never believe what happened at school today! The Governor came today and spoke to our class! She said when she was a little girl, the governor came to her class and spoke, and then she wanted to be the governor. She said she worked really hard in school, and now she’s the governor! I want to be the governor when I grow up.” The little girl’s eyebrows pursed in thought, “Or maybe the president! Wouldn’t that be cool, Mommy?”
Mary grinned at her daughter. She changed her mind quicker than a puppy discovering the world around it. Last year she had wanted to be an astronaut. Last month she had wanted to be a teacher. And yesterday she wanted to be a bus driver. She said she really like her bus driver so she wanted to be like her. “That would be very cool, sweetie!”
“What do I need to learn about in order to be governor, Mom?” Amanda asked with an eager look on her face.
“Well, you’ll need to learn about how the government works, like the laws for our state and country and the different jobs that government officials do for the people.” Mary answered.
“Do you think that God wants me to be governor one day?” Amanda asked.
“I don’t know, honey. But whatever God wants you to do when you grow up, He will help you do it. Whether that’s being the governor, a teacher, or even a bus driver.” Mary said smiling at her daughter.
Amanda grinned and turned to walk away. Mary looked back down at her paperwork. Suddenly Amanda whirled around and marched back to her.
“Mom, what did you want to be when you were my age?” Amanda demanded to know.
“I wanted to do a lot of things. I changed my mind a lot.” Mary answered, seeing how similar she and her daughter really were. “When I was five I wanted to raise and compete horses. When I got to high school, I decided I wanted to be a professional singer, and that’s what I went to college for. I had plans to open my own voice school one day, too.”
“So why don’t you sing anymore?” Amanda questioned again.
“I still sing.” Mary replied.
“Barely,” the little girl retorted.
“I do,” Mary protested, “I sing around the house and when we go to church.”
“But that wasn’t your dream. You always tell me to follow my dreams, Mom.” She said.
Mary was quiet for a few minutes. She looked back down at the stack of bills, but she didn’t really see them. When she graduated from college, she took a job as a secretary to help pay her bills and student loans. She had promised herself that she would leave as soon as she had caught up a little. At first she had made time to sing, but work and life made it difficult to set time aside for it. Life had flown by, and Mary realized that she had never really accomplished what she had set out to do. Her husband, Daniel, always encouraged her to join the choir at their church or start teaching classes. At this point in her life, she had dismissed it all as an outlandish dream from her youth. She didn’t really believe that; it was just easier to live like that was the real reason.
“I think you should follow your dream. So why don’t you, Mommy?” At that the little girl turned and left the room.
Mary blinked and couldn’t help feeling convicted. What just happened? Was it possible God was trying to get something through to her? Through her daughter?
Mary heard someone clear their throat and looked up to see her husband. Daniel was leaning against the door frame, looking at her.
“So why don’t you, Mommy?” He asked gently.
As Mary met his gaze, she realized she didn’t have any more excuses.
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