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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Parent (11/16/06)

TITLE: The Parent Trap
By Marilee Alvey


“It’s just so frustrating. Why doesn’t he respect me? He used to, when he was little. Then I could do no wrong. Why, every day he’d be singing my praises. ‘My dad’s the greatest! He can do anything!’ But now? There are times we don’t even speak.” The father wheeled his chair over to the desk.

“Yes, I see what you mean,” his secretary answered. “And the funny thing is, it’s not like you don’t know all about him. You can read him like a book, can’t you? Did you need that file?”

“Yes, thank you. You’re right. I do know my son inside out. I know what he needs before he asks. I love him so much. I’m fully aware when he needs new shoes. I know full well when he needs a new coat….but, even so, I still wish he’d come and ask me for them. You know? He takes me for granted. He doesn’t realize how I know his every mood. I know him backwards, forwards and inside out, yet he sneaks around and hides things from me. Like I didn’t know what he’s up to…. Sometimes I feel like just cutting him off. Maybe then he’d miss me.”

“You wouldn’t do that, would you?”

“I might…for a little while, just to get his attention. You know, it’s hard because when I looked forward to his birth, my greatest desire was to bless him, but sometimes he puts me in a position that I am forced to take things away from him, and that is just so not me. Would you hand me that Adam Taylor file, please? Another thing that bothers me: he keeps doing the same dumb things. I keep telling him over and over but he just won’t listen. He just keeps on doing things his way and then I have to watch him struggle and fall, time after time. Really, it breaks my heart, but what’s a father to do? I’m always trying to lead him in the way he should go, but, I tell you, sometimes that boy can really depart from it.”

“To say he misses the mark would be a gross understatement,” the secretary agreed. “Which cabinet is that file in?”

“It’s the one in S2505153.”

“Okay, here it is.”


“My pleasure, sir.”

“I’ll admit at times he disappoints me. There are times when I look at him and wonder if he’s even mine. Yet, there are other times when he does something that really encourages me, you know?”

“Yes, I know,” she said, then smiled sweetly. Folding her arms she stopped her work momentarily and asked, “So what is the toughest part about being a parent?”

“Well, I’d have to say that the first thing is the disobedience. It’s the first sign of trouble and it begins pretty early. Wanting their own way and thinking that they know better. It’s a slippery slope. Then, the ingratitude hurts so badly. Their desire for independence is so strong that they are willing to go to battle with their own parent, the one who has loved and nurtured them even as they were growing in their mothers’ wombs.”

“So, sir, what’s the cure?”

“Pretty simple, actually. I give them children just like themselves. You should hear them whine about their teenagers! I get a chuckle out of that one! The goal is that, one day, their eyes will be opened and they will look at their teenagers, their disobedience, their ingratitude, their desire to break off their relationship with their parent, and they will see that they are actually looking in the mirror. Only then can they fully understand me, their Heavenly Father.” Laying folder number S2505153 on the desk, he continued, “Adam Taylor, age 53, is only one of a multitude of unruly children I deal with on a daily basis, but, thanks to those children I sent him, he’ll be desperately looking heavenward any moment now!”

“Sir, your plan amazes me!”

“Well, if you think that’s something, you ought to see what I have in mind for the finale!”

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This article has been read 797 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Darlene Casino 11/23/06
This was the entry I first meant to write...but I just couldn't get it on paper. Now I see it was because you would do a much more effective job of it. Well written, enjoyable to read, and just as I would imagine our heavenly Father would respond.
Your heavenly perspective of life with a rebellious child was much appreciated and enjoyed
william price11/24/06
Very, very creative entry here!! Made me wonder what God was saying as He looked at my folder. I love great dialogue, and a story that makes me want to finish it. Super ending. I really enjoyed this. God bless.
Donna Powers 11/24/06
This is very well done and conveys your idea with eloquence and wit. I was glad for the "twist" in the middle, and I enjoyed reading this. Great work!
Leigh MacKelvey11/24/06
Very nice job of showng us all, with creative writing, how our Parent has feelings and concerns about His children just like we do! Very enjoyable reading.
Everest Alexander 11/27/06
Your point is very well taken! Your writing is clear easy-to-follow, interesting and enjoyable to read.

I knew exactly what you were doing by line eight but don't feel bad though, it's because my mind works the same way. This is an article I would write - In exactly the same way.

Nevertheless, this is very good work with an extremely potent point. When we look at our teenagers we're looking into a mirror. WOW! Is that ever true with me.

Thanks for sharing.
Everest Alexander 11/27/06
Excellent title too!
Ann FitzHenry11/27/06
This was really cute. I suspected where you were going, but I enjoyed going on the ride! I liked how you put everything into the Heavenly Father's perspective. Thanks!
Laurie Glass 11/27/06
This is wonderful. Well written with a great message. Enjoyable read.
Betty Castleberry11/27/06
I *thought* I knew where this was going, but there was twist at the end. Thanks for sharing this well written piece.
Marie Fieldman11/27/06
Well, you got me...I didn't catch on to the twist till the middle.Good Job. (:
Edy T Johnson 11/28/06
"Poetic justice" had to be God's invention! Your story is a clever vehicle for your message, even though I had a bit of a snag with God having a secretary and keeping files on us :)

On second thought, we do read that he has a "scroll of remembrance," so I guess He might have a scribe after all! You're a clever writer!
Marty Wellington 11/28/06
I've gotta agree--very clever indeed. A thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish. Bravo!
Joanne Sher 11/29/06
Definitely clever. Expert job with the dialogue - and you sure gave me lots to think about! Love the last line too!
terri tiffany11/30/06
Well done Marilee!! Congrats!
william price11/30/06
WooHoo!!! Congrats Marilee.
Excellent Job.
God bless.
This was my favorite story too.