Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: MIX (10/22/15)
TITLE: Beyond Measure
By Holly Westefeld
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"Why do you say that, Nikki?"
"Because if you loved me, you'd let me go out with my friends Friday night."
"But you couldn't provide an itinerary, or tell us what adult would be chaperoning."
"Chaperoning! I'm not a little kid. I'm going to be fifteen on Sunday, and this is not the 1950's. And speaking of love, Trish's parents gave her her own laptop, and don't hover over her while she uses it. She stays up as late as she wants, and sleeps as late as she wants on weekends."
"And you equate those freedom's with love?"
"Well, perhaps it is time you learn to take responsibility for how much sleep you need..."
"So no more bedtime?"
"Mom, I need you to drive me to school, or I'll be late."
"Then you will have a tardy on your record."
"But Mom, I overslept."
"And that is my problem because...?"
"You didn't wake me up."
"Nor did I make you stay up till midnight. The longer you don't take responsibility for your choice, the later you will be."
Nikki grabbed her backpack and stomped out the door.
She dragged in that afternoon with a glum look around her raccoon mask.
"What's wrong, honey?"
"I kept dozing off over my math test, and didn't finish. I'm going to take a nap."
"Nikki, time for dinner."
"Okay. I'll be right down."
Nikki stared at Maggie across the table. "You've been in my makeup again!"
"Mom, this is why I need a lock on my door. And Maggie should pay to replace my makeup. I bought it with my babysitting money."
Nikki was too busy glaring at Maggie to notice her dad wink at Mom. "Doesn't loving your sister make you willing to share your things with her?"
"So you want us to limit Maggie's freedom, but not yours?"
"But she took it without asking, which is stealing, and that's wrong."
"Because it's against the law."
"So laws can be good, even if they limit people's freedom?"
"Mom, I'm worried about Trish. She said she'd call me when she got in last night, but I finally fell asleep about 1:00, and hadn't heard from her, and she's still not answering her phone."
"You said that she can sleep as late as she wants..." The kitchen phone rang. "Hello?"
Nikki's heart raced as her mom's face blanched, and peeking at the caller ID revealed Trish's home number.
"Thank you for calling. I'll let Nikki know." She hugged Nikki as tears tumbled down her face. "Trish was in an accident with her friends last night, and is in ICU."
"Nooo!" Nikki trembled. "I would have been with them..."
"I realize you don't feel much like celebrating your birthday, Nikki, but what kind of cake would you like this evening?"
"Chocolate, I guess. I don't understand why you have to be eighteen to visit someone in ICU."
"Seeing badly hurt people can be very upsetting. I'm sure making a card to send with her parents would mean a lot to her."
After dinner, Nikki's mom brought a tray in to the dining room containing several small bowls, each adorned with a candle. Nikki blew out the candles, but raised her brows. "This is not a chocolate cake."
"No, but each bowl contains a measured ingredient I mix together to make chocolate cake. I thought you might like some of them more than others, so wanted you to choose which ones you want to be part of your dessert. You will probably like the sugar most..."
"Well I'm not eating raw egg!" Dubiously, Nikki put a spoonful of sugar in her mouth, followed by one of cocoa powder, which she promptly spit in to her napkin and took a drink of milk. "Yuck! The cocoa powder is bitter when it's not mixed with the other ingredients. Even the sugar isn't as good by itself."
Nikki's dad smiled. "You have just discovered something about parenthood before having children. We do our best to model God to you girls. If His love and grace were not mixed with boundaries to keep us safe, and eternal justice for those who never accept His grace, He would not be good beyond measure."
Nikki nodded slowly, as her mom returned with her lit birthday cake.
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