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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: Growing Up, Down and Even
By Folakemi Emem-Akpan


Growing up, down and even

Dear diary,
Iím so angry I can hardly see. I donít know why mom acts like she was never young. All I asked for was some money to buy that short red skirt we saw at the mallÖand permission to get the kind of tattoo Jennifer has on her cleavage. You should have seen mom go up in flames. And itís not that the tattoo is that big. I even offered to have it on my belly instead but you should have seen her. Sheís such a spoilsport.

I canít wait to grow up, move out and earn my own pay. Then I can control my life. I can party all I want. And I can smoke all I want without having to hide from dad and mom.

Itís so hard to be sixteen.



Dear diary,
Why is Beth being so difficult? Iím trying to be a good mother here, but she gives me no credit. None at all. Since sheís turned sixteen, it seems all we do is quarrel. And James isnít helping me at all. He is hardly home and when he is, he prefers to sit in front of the television. Doesnít he realize Beth needs her father, especially at a time like this?

Iím sick of fighting with Beth all day, and tiptoeing around James all night.

Is this all there is to life; being a wife and a mother?

I wish I were young again. Then, I can dream all I want and actually believe that dreams come true. Life certainly had meaning back then.

Yesterday, I discovered Iím starting to sprout gray hair. I donít find this funny at all. Isnít it possible to stay young forever?



Dear God,
Itís so good to be awake this morning. I admit it gets more and more difficult to get out of bed each day, but as I told Liz, Iím going to get out of this house each morning and put in four hours at the orphanage each day until the moment I breathe my last.

Godfrey would have liked this warm sun and the flowers blooming in the garden. I miss him so terribly but it doesnít hurt so much when I think about the fact that heís with You.
And Iím sure glad that we had a good life here before You took him home to be with You. I hardly can wait to join the both of youÖbut in the meantime, I promise to keep busy.

Now Lord, I need You to watch over Liz, James and Beth. Beth is growing up and is asking for freedom she canít yet handle. And LizÖwell, my daughter has always been too sensitive. Sheís taking Bethís tantrums too much to heart. Please teach her to handle Beth the same way you taught me when Liz was fourteen and demanding for her own car and a personal bank account.

Hey, before I forget. Iím going to need help with that Indonesian boy down at the orphanage. Thatís the one whoís afraid of women because his mother sold him for drugs. Help me model Your love to him.

And yeah, thank you Lord for my birthday thatís just around the corner. Isnít it good to be alive at seventy-eight? I never thought life could get any richer, but it does get richer. And fuller. Not to mention more adventurous.

Now on to the adventureÖif only I can roll out of bedÖ

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/22/06
I was quite taken with the fact that your elderly writer still regarded life as an adventure, and that she was so in tune with the needs of her daughter and granddaughter. Very nice.
Mary Alice Bowles06/22/06
Beautiful description of life. Good Job
Garnet Miller 06/24/06
How interesting! This sounds like me. I pray for my boys because they just don't seem to understand things sometimes. I know that my mom is always praying for me and them that His grace will abound to us. This story was very realistic. Thank you for sharing.
Birdie Courtright06/24/06
Nice portrayal of three generations and the maturity and wisdom gained over years of living. Interesting to see the change of perspectives. I enjoyed reading this.
david grant06/26/06
A generational DAVEY for this!