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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)

TITLE: Her Chance Has Come
By Margaret McKinney


Her Chance Has Come

She has been waiting for this day, sometimes patiently, sometimes not.

For two years she has watched her backpack laden siblings go before her, enticing lunchboxes tucked under their arms. Her post by the front window is worn by her little knees, watching them leave in the mornings, awaiting their return in the afternoons.

“Why can’t I go to school?” She has asked me countless times, always with crossed arms and a resentful stamp of the foot. “Why can the big girls go, but not me?” The brown curls shake with indignation.

I tell her she is too young, but she doesn’t understand, because she is too young. We wish our children to grow old enough not to need us so much, and yet we hope they will always need us just a little. It is the mother’s curse, somehow inherited along with all the rest due to Eve and her wayward ways.

For the past several months she anticipates it. The fifth birthday comes and goes, and she expects to go the next day. I explain that she can’t start school in the middle; that she must wait until Kindergarten starts all over again in the fall. She manages to temper her impatience, but just barely. To think that five more months of waiting is required, well, that’s a blow; but she would see it through with fortitude.

We drive past the school. She memorizes the street that leads there, wonders aloud what it looks like on the inside. The phrase “when I start Kindergarten” precedes every question, and her entire world is built around the day it will be her turn. I believe in her mind, Kindergarten is something akin to ‘The Big Rock Candy Mountain,’ a place where kids go to escape their mothers and have oodles of fun all day. The bright yellow bus only enhances this vision of what Kindergarten will hold, for surely a vehicle painted so vividly can only bear its passengers to places of wonder.

The day arrives. We choose her prettiest dress and pack her lunchbox, and with expressions of delight she steps onto her golden coach and is borne forth to school.

I am pleased to find that Kindergarten exceeds her highest expectations. There was the slightest complaint of the hours a Kindergartener must keep, but an adjustment to her bedtime alleviated that minor difficulty.

My youngest baby is gone. The post by the window is now kept by me.

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This article has been read 578 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Glynis Becker09/01/11
You've perfectly touched on "that mother's curse"...don't we all want to keep our babies small? Beautifully done.
Michelle Meyers09/01/11
Beautifully written! You really expressed the emotion wrapped up in these stepping stones of life, for the Mom and daughter. The last line especially touched my heart since I just sent my baby off to junior high! Keep writing:)
Ebony Murdoch09/01/11
This was a charming story.I think it captures the child's view very well. I can't imagine how I'll feel when this day comes around for my little girl. Well done!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/01/11
Oh this almost brought tears to my eyes. My baby is starting her last year of high school. I could so relate to the mother's feelings. We work so hard to raise them to be independent, loving, and happy adults and our thanks for all of that hard work is they leave is to become independent, hard-working adults! :) Nicely told with a good message.
Sarah Heywood09/02/11
And this is why I homeschool!! No, not really, but I definitely felt for the mother in your story. How well I can empathize with her pangs of sorrow as she watches her littlest one grow. This was well-written and I enjoyed it very much!
C D Swanson 09/03/11
This was a beautiful read and well written. It touched my heart. Nicely done, Brava! God Bless~
Pamela Weeden09/06/11
I have read this a few times - and it came to mind as I laid my son's uniform out tonight, ready for tomorrow! A lovely read - thank you.
marcella franseen09/08/11
Congratulations on 1st place. Well-deserved! A beautiful piece!
C D Swanson 09/08/11
Congrats on a well deserved win. God Bless you ~
Loren T. Lowery09/08/11
This is very poignant and I especially like your last line - it show the heart of its author. Congratulations on your EC.
Bonnie Bowden 09/12/11
Congratulations on your 1st place in the category and moving up to the next level! Very well written.