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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)

TITLE: Return To Childhood
By Linda Boulanger


I started my story the other morning. It wound nicely along the path of a young girl’s life. She’d found that, even though her youth wasn’t perfect, she’d had a happy childhood because of a special friend; Jesus. I always write my stories in my notebook first with whatever pen I can find that has not been commandeered by my children. There are four of them. They all love to write and draw so paper, pens, pencils…..they are in high demand at our house. The children have learned to respect the privacy of Mom’s notebooks, but the taking of available writing utensils….somehow they still disappear.

Over the weekend my second daughter came down with a nasty bug. It was a holiday weekend. We were out of town; a van full of kids and one running a fever. We prayed, as we always do, but perhaps, undoubtedly, there was that edge of doubt or fear that crept in. Had we been abiding and delving enough to warrant supernatural intervention? We were all so busy with other activities and our focus was definitely elsewhere. I know my heart questioned; as big a no-no in the realm of prayer as taking mom’s notebooks!

As the mother, my heart went to caring for her. She is the hardest of my children to nursemaid as her demands often number more than my patients can handle. None-the-less, we drove home and placed her in the master suite. Campout time with Mom; Dad moves to the couch. They aren’t allowed out of the suite until 12 hours after the fever has left. Somehow that seems to keep it from spreading through our household….most of the time. As I always do, I wished for one of these campouts at a time when we could actually enjoy it!

Two days of fever, chills, aches, mom running back and forth, watching “kiddie” shows, and washing of hands until I could hardly stand the feel of the lotion needed to keep the fingers from cracking. The third morning…..she was better. Fever gone, annoying demeanor returning with requests for this and that increasing. Oh how thankful I was to be annoyed in this way. It meant the house was returning to normal.

Then, the unthinkable happened…..I began to feel chilled. My joints ached, my head felt as if it would not support my neck, and I began to cough. I wanted my mom! I wanted to lay on the couch with her bringing me Sprite and Chicken Noodle Soup in a cup with a straw. She would dab my forehead with a wet washcloth, and kiss my neck to see how I was “feeling.” I wanted to return to childhood.

But, alas, moms don’t get to get sick. They buck it up and continue to take care of those around them. I wondered how many times my mom had felt just as bad as we did? Looking back, I could never remember her getting sick. She had to, though.

I sat on the edge of my bed, having just changed the sheets and wishing I’d waited because I knew they had to be washed….by me. And, when I was better, I’d have to do it all over again. I felt tears stinging my eyes for the silliest of reasons. I hadn’t finished my weekly writing challenge story. Since I’d begun, I had not missed one that I could recall. It was a self-imposed challenge. I tried desperately to wrap my head around the happy girl and could not. All I could feel was self-pity.

Then something remarkable happened. My daughter, still home pending her 24 hours fever free period, began to care for me. Immediately, I felt better just knowing someone cared. I could hear her starting the laundry, feeding the cats, all the things I usually do. She even brought me Sprite and a Pumpkin Muffin. No soup with a straw, thankfully. She does not do well at the stove just yet.

Her caring smile made me feel better; not in my body, but in my heart. This child that always required so much care was allowing me a moment to return to childhood. She was stepping in at a time when I needed it most. It reminded me of the love of my Lord. I could feel my body laying hold of the healing power of His Word that played on the CD in the background. No matter how old I was, I would always be His child.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Johnson09/12/09
I really liked the image this story brought to my mind, of the child being kind to help the mom when she got sick. I like the idea of returning to childhood(sometimes). I loved the reference to always being God's child. One thing stood out that tripped my mind for a moment... the use of "patients" when I think you meant to use "patience."
Allen Stark09/16/09
Thanks for sharing this personal experience. I think I'll copy it and have my teenager read it. Perhaps it might give her something to think about.
Linda Boulanger09/17/09
Oops! Thanks Lisa. This came on the heels of nearly losing my patience with my patients after the flu ran through our home :( As for children -- mine give me truly wonderful pictures of God and His relationship with us as His children. It's amazing how they can, on occasion, rise above when least expected. And gentle reminders to them never hurt. :)