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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)

TITLE: A Different Kind of Father


It was a week before Father’s Day and ten year old Janie was dreading the event. Each year at school, around Father’s Day some of her classmates would huddle together at lunch and talk about how wonderful their fathers were to them.

She cringed when she heard words like, “My father bought me a brand new bicycle—state of the art! You should see how beautiful it looks!” Or, “My Dad bought me two new cell phones and I can use them any time I want!” Or, “My Dad gave me $50.00 yesterday and he said I could spend it on anything!”

Whenever anyone asked her about her Father, Janie would have to think of something but often all she could say was, “My Dad took us all to dinner last night and we had a good time.” Often all she got from such words were, "Is that all he did for your family? Just eat out?!”

But Janie was ready this year if anyone started talking about how great their Dads were and then asked about hers. This year, she thought, would be different. “I’ll show them, if they ask me,” she whispered out loud.

It was two days before Father’s Day and most of her friends were waiting for the school bus to go home. She knew somebody would bring up the subject; it was just a matter of time.

Then it happened. Sue Thompson began, “Hey everybody, guess what my father is doing for my family tonight, in honor of Father’s Day?”

Everyone turned to look at her and in union replied, “Hey Sue, what is your dad doing for you tonight?”

Sue replied, “He is giving everyone in my family a gift certificate of $100.00 from Willie’s Electronics and we can buy whatever we want!”

Many chirped up to say, “Hey, that’s great!” And then added their own similar stories of money, gift certificates and such that they, too were receiving from their Dad.

Then, Bill Thornton asked Janie what her Dad was doing for their family on Father’s Day.

Janie replied, “My Mom, my sister and I are 'giving' my Dad a delicious home-cooked meal and then my sister Mary and brother John are going to present a play for Dad that we’ve been working on for weeks. He said that he can’t wait to see it!”

Everyone was quiet and didn’t know what to make of what Janie said. It seemed that with all the money, gift cards and such that many were receving from their Dads, it just didn't measure up to the home-cooked food, play and attention from a Dad.

Only one reply was made and that came from good, old Sue.

“Well, I guess that’s alright. Sounds kind of quiet but it does sound nice about the home cooked meal and play.." She looked kind of sad and melancholy when she spoke. And then she said, Well, see you all next week and have a good time, Janie..” The others just smiled,looked a bit sad and then got on the bus for the long ride home.

Janie felt good about what she said and even better about her Dad and family. Sometimes it was just good and right, being different! This time she felt proud of herself and especially proud of her Dad.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 04/19/08
You captured "kid" personalities in this, with each trying to outdo the other. I almost cheered for Janie for "giving" her father something on Father's Day, the homecooked meal and the play. I'm glad you showed that you don't always have to spend money to give a gift. This was very heartwarming.