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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

TITLE: Your Forever Mom
By Marita Vandertogt


Your Forever Mom

Dear Lauren:

I know youíve decided to live with your father. And thatís a decision thatís yours to make now that youíre all of thirteen.

I know, because, now donít be mad, but because I read your diary this morning, when I was cleaning your room. It was sitting on the floor beside your bed, opened. I thought maybe in a way you wanted me to see it. I only read last nightís entry, where you printed out your decision, in big black letters.

I know our fights are getting harder to take and that I seem to be ďa jailkeeperĒ as you put it. The fights are hard for me too Lauren. Sometimes I donít understand myself either. Maybe it will be better for you to live with your dad. Maybe heíll deal with things differently. I donít know. Some people arenít born to be mothers Lauren. They have to work really hard at figuring out what the right thing to do is. Sometimes maybe I go overboard the wrong way and I donít see it until itís too late and the damage is done. But it hurts me too knowing Iíve hurt you in some way. I just have a hard time telling you when I think maybe Iíve handled something wrong. After all, Iím the mom, and momís are supposed to know what to do. But everything I do is for your good Lauren, though I know it doesnít seem that way to you. Maybe some day youíll be able to look back and understand how hard it is to find that balance, of giving you freedom to grow and reigns to grow you in the right direction.

You were always a little girl too mature for her years Lauren, which I guess makes me think I need to hold on that much tighter. Remember the day you came home with that little red bugs bunny tattoo on your knee. Everybody got one at Jenniferís birthday party, you said. You were only seven. Remember how I went a little crazy, and yelled at you, and sent you to your room, and made you stay there until you scrubbed every bit of ink from your knee. It was supposed to last for 2 weeks, which is, I think, about how long your knee hurt from the scrubbing. I went a little crazy Lauren, because I saw the outside world start to come in. And I wasnít there, even for that tiny bit of time, to protect you. I know it was just a tiny ink cartoon tattoo, but it represented something to me that I wasnít even aware of at the time, that you were slowly becoming a person that maybe I wouldnít know anymore. That you would begin to grow away from me.

When you were a baby, I knew where you were every minute of the day. I guess youíre still a baby in my heart, and itís hard to start to let the ďtattoosí enter your life, without me being there to make sure everything is okay.

Anyway, I guess what Iím trying to say is that even when you go to your dadís, you will still be that baby girl in my heart. You canít move away from that Lauren, not ever. This ďjailkeeperĒ wants you to know that you have my blessing in your decision. Maybe your father can give you something I still need to learn.

By the way, I put your diary back in your bedside table, just in case your brother came across it. After all, a girl needs her privacy.

All my love
Your forever mom

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Member Comments
Member Date
Benjamin Graber06/14/07
This one touched my heart. Excellent portrayal of a parent-teen relationship.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/15/07
This was a sad story told well. I liked the symbol use of the tatoo.
Dee Yoder 06/15/07
Your story puts into words the fragile relationship between moms and daughters, especially during the teen years.