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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Play It Again, Mom
By Glynis Becker


“Mommy? Can we read it again?”

Charlie had climbed up next to me on the couch. The book I was already holding, the former bestseller that I'd only successfully read through chapter three, was put aside, somewhat longingly, I admit, although I had no choice but to smile at my sweet little guy. How I loved that messy hair and sticky face! Was there any way I could say 'no'? He smiled back at me, giving himself permission to crawl into my lap, his elbows digging into my sides and his feet kicking my legs as he squirmed to get a comfortable seat.

“Ready?” I asked as I leaned down and kissed the top of his head. He nodded and I began. His high-pitched toddler voice joined mine in that sing-song way of children as we chanted together this rhyming book we both knew so well.

And when we were done, we read it again.

* * * * * *

“Will you play with me?”

The box he held in his chubby hands had so much masking tape the name of the game had long ago been obscured. Charlie loved this matching game. The pieces were almost worn out. Some were bent into odd shapes and because we'd played so often, even the backsides of the pieces were dead giveaways to me. I had to make sure not to win too easily, for Charlie's sake. I could probably have matched them all up backwards and upside-down with my eyes closed and hands tied behind by my back.

How I wished we could play something else, something new. But I kept the sigh to myself and instead, smiled and grabbed the box to help Charlie lay out the pieces. Again.

* * * * * *

“Turn it back, Mommy. I want to hear that song again.”

The traffic was at a complete stand-still in both lanes. All I wanted to do was get home before the groceries spoiled in my hot car. I was tired and hungry and I thought I might go crazy if I had to listen to “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” another time. Charlie usually loved this entire CD, but for some reason today all he wanted was that one song. That one, boring, repetitive, mindless song.

I took a deep breath and prayed for patience while I hit the button to play the song again.

That's when from somewhere deep within me a calm voice reminded: “You can handle this. These days are long, but you won't get these chances again. Enjoy the moments together, while he wants to spend this time with you. Read that book again. Make him the same dinner if it's healthy and he likes it. Play that mind-numbing game again. Love him over and over because you don't get to repeat these days once they're gone.”

I smiled. Isn't it funny how parenting is really a one-time only repeat performance?

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This article has been read 335 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 01/31/13
This is a touching story that put a smile on my face as it warmed my heart.

God Bless~
Cheryl Harrison02/01/13
"Isn't it funny how parenting is really a one-time only repeat performance?"

So true! Good job.
lynn gipson 02/04/13
This took me back to when my now forty year old son was a little boy. It seems now I didnt spend enough time doing these things.

I really loved this. Excellent writing and wonderful story.

God Bless
Allison Egley 02/04/13
I may not be a parent yet, but I know these stories are very familiar to any parent, and really, anyone who works with kids. Nice job on this. I like it.
Loren T. Lowery02/05/13
A chance for a "do over" how blessed we are when the time comes. Maybe to improve upon or maybe just to relive the moment. And, yes, it is all to fleeting, but you article shows how bittersweet those moments are and how they build the foundation of things most cherished and/or remembered.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/05/13
This is beautiful. I could feel my memories rushing back to me as I read your story. I hope to emulate my grandma when the time comes for me to be a grandmother. She would read me the same story again and again. And she didn't skip over words like some adults might. Instead she lived in that very moment with me. Though she has been gone nearly 20 years, she still lives on in my memory and is the epitome of Grandma. Thanks for taking me back to my childhood with your delightful piece.
Bea Edwards 02/06/13
ummmm all I can say is ummm while I chew on this for a bit.
Well done!
Alicia Renkema02/06/13
Children know what they like and they want it again and again, that is for sure. My son's favorite story was "The Little Engine that Could." There were times I would tire of that story but I usually enjoyed his enthusiasm. My son has special needs and I tire a lot more these days of some of the games he wants us to repeat again and again. I think this story can remind us all of the patience God wants us to have toward one another and to learn to appreciate where He currently has us placed.
Myrna Noyes02/06/13
You perfectly caught the little child's love of repetition! It makes them feel "safe" and "in control" when they are in familiar territory and when they know what is coming next! Your story was sweet, well-written, and so true to life!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/07/13
Congratulations on ranking 21 overall!!
Judith Gayle Smith02/07/13
So precious. Worth repeating!
Claudia Thomason02/09/13
Nicely written, and so true. Congratulations on your Highly Recommended ranking.
Catherine Craig 02/10/13
This article feels like honey on my lips, sweet aftertaste. Kids do grow up - fast - important not to let regrets grow with them.