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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Surprised (09/06/07)

TITLE: My Amazing Grace
By Martha Ford
09/12/07


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Chapter 1: She is born.

She fits so well in my arms, like I have held her before. Maybe I was remembering how it felt to hold her mother.

Her hair is light with a hint of curl. The girls in my family have naturally straight hair. Must be from her daddyís side of the family. She is shorter than her sister, Olivia, but well proportioned.

In the middle of her perfectly round face is a tiny button nose. I have heard of a button nose, but this is the first time Iíve actually seen one.

Her pale skin contrasts with her dark eyes, eyes more alert than any newborn I have ever seen. She watches me intently while I tell her who she is and who I am, gesturing with her little hands and turning a monologue into a dialogue.

Her mouth is amazing. All my babies had large, full mouths. This newest grandchild has a small, heart-shaped mouth similar to the ones painted on my childhood dolls. I know no one in either side of the family with such a unique mouth.

Chapter 2: She asserts her independence.

Iím too old to baby-sit a two-year-old and a five-year-old for an entire week while their mother and father go to a medical convention. My sweet, quiet younger granddaughter has suddenly found her mouth. She is chattering all day, some of it understandable. She has a temper, too. Poor Olivia gives in too often.

Chapter 3: She has a mind of her own.

She is so stubborn. Her mother was the most congenial child imaginable. I canít let her control the entire household. She produces enormous sounds from that tiny, heart-shaped mouth any time she is crossed. Even after I send her to her room she has to have the last word. Falling asleep is the only way she gives up.

Chapter 4: She negotiates.

What four-year-old carries on such animated conversations about so many subjects? She is very bright and has an opinion on every subject: right, wrong or confused. She dances and sings like an angel with perfect pitch. Although she plays well with others, she still has a temper. The difference is that she now takes herself to her room when she gets into trouble. With a sideway glance, a pout and a stomp of her foot, she stops arguing and heads for her room; the slammed door her last ďword.Ē After considerable time, she presents herself with a smile and in a pleasant voice announces that she can be good now. I can hardly keep from laughing.

Chapter 5: She is growing up.

Iím here for her first formal dance recital. Itís been several months since Iíve seen her. Sheís so clingy. Never one for hugging and kissing, she suddenly wants to hold my hand and sit by me. I love it, but itís not what I expected. We are so rushed with supper and getting to the recital on time. She keeps saying she wants me to spend the night, but I canít. Olivia has danced for years so she isnít nervous. I believe little sister is nervous, even though she flatly states she isnít. Thereís that little pout again.

The auditorium is full of expectant parents and grandparents, friends and siblings. I have two left feet so it amuses me no end that my grandchildren can dance. The costumes, music, lighting and choreography are fabulous.

Two hours later we wait for the girls to meet us in the lobby. I see Olivia first, congratulate her and get my usual hug. Then I see her, little miss ballerina tripping down the hall with outstretched arms.

ďMemo did you see me dance?Ē she yells at me.

ďI sure did. You were wonderful. Memo is so proud of you.Ē I realize she is no longer a baby but a little girl. She is truly my amazing Sophia Grace.

Word Count: 654


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Member Comments
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Jan Ackerson 09/16/07
I can just picture her! What a delightful child!

This was fun to read, perhaps not the strongest on the topic of "surprised," but still a great story. I like your use of present tense. Well done.
Dee Yoder 09/19/07
I enjoyed this entry. It was fun learning how this child grew and changed through the experiences of her Grandmother with her. That's a unique perspective!