Eight year old Hannah was a good girl, most of the time. She tried to do what was right and not get in trouble. But one day Hannah got tired of being told what to do.
It was Monday morning. Hannah’s mother woke her up and told her to get dressed for school. Hannah wiped the sleep out of her eyes, and slowly crawled out of bed. She wished she could stay in bed a little longer. She heard her mom yell from down the hall, “Hannah, don’t forget to brush your hair. And wear a sweater because it’s cold today.” She did as she was told, like the good girl that she was.
She made her way to the kitchen and joined her family at the breakfast table where she heard things like, “Sit up straight”, “Don’t play with your food”, “Chew with your mouth closed”, and “Clear your plate”.
After breakfast, she was told to grab her backpack, hurry up, get in the car, hurry up, buckle her seatbelt, hurry up, and to not sing so loud. At school, there was a new group of grown ups to boss her around. All day long she was told what to do, and when to do it. “When can I do what I want,” she wondered.
Things didn’t get any better after school. She had to do her homework, clean her room, take her bath, say her prayers, and go to bed.
Finally, she was tired of it. When she crawled into bed, she prayed, “Dear God, please don’t let anyone tell me what to do! I’m sick of it.”
The next morning Hannah opened her eyes and looked around her room. Something was different. She went to the kitchen and saw that it was already cleaned from breakfast. Her mother was doing the laundry. Hannah looked at the clock and saw that it almost 11 o’clock. “Mom, why didn’t you wake me? I’m late for school!”
“I can take you now, Hannah,” her mother offered.
Hannah jumped in the car and her mother drove her to school. She was almost to school when she remembered she wasn’t wearing her seatbelt. How could her mom let her forget that? When she got to school, her class was already at lunch. Hannah realized she didn’t have a lunch and had not eaten breakfast. She was happy to see her best friend, Elizabeth. Maybe she would share some of her lunch.
“Elizabeth, you’ll never believe what happened this morning,” Hannah began.
“Hannah, what’s wrong with you?” her friend interrupted. “You are wearing your pajamas, your hair is a mess and your breath stinks.” Hannah looked down at her pajamas in shock. She had forgotten to get dressed. She was very embarrassed. Hannah ran to the bathroom and hid there until school was out.
When she arrived home, her growling stomach reminded her that she had not eaten. She found a bag of cookies and ate all of them. After that, Hannah wasn’t feeling so well, so she laid down on the couch and watched TV. Then Hannah remembered that she had ballet class on Tuesday afternoons. “Mom, I have ballet.”
“I’m sorry, Hannah. Your class was over hours ago. I didn’t know you wanted to go,” her mother said.
“What’s happening?” Hannah wondered.
Disappointed that she had missed her ballet class, she decided to go outside and play. She put on her roller skates, but forgot to wear her knee pads. Usually, someone reminded her to do this. Hannah skated until it was dark. She couldn’t see very well in the dark, so she accidentally skated over a stick and fell. She skinned her knees since she wasn’t wearing her knee pads.
Hannah limped back into her house. She could tell by the sound of the running dishwasher and the quiet house that her family had already eaten dinner and gone to bed. Hannah was hungry, hurting, and dirty, but no one seemed to care. She went to her room and got down on her sore knees and prayed, “Dear God, please make people tell me what to do. I guess I do need them after all.” Then Hannah cried herself to sleep.
Hannah awoke to the sound of her mother’ s voice. “Hannah. Wake up. It’s Tuesday and you don’t want to be late for school.”
Hannah smiled. Yesterday had been a bad dream “Thank you, God,” she whispered, “for all the people who tell me what to do.”
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