Back in March, I challenged you, my readers, to finish the sentence, “If my mother’s hands could talk…”
It was such a joy reading all of the excellent responses and it made my stomach turn when I realized that I had put myself in a position where everyone couldn’t be a winner. It’s never any fun letting somebody down!
Enter Kendall, the child on whom I dumped my people-pleasing insecurities.
Kendall is my friend Karen’s 10 year old daughter. Brilliant. Innocent. Sweet. Selfless. Responsible. LOVES to read.
Wielding my Square Piece power, I decided to make her the “panel” as we critically (well, not so critically) went through the responses on the afternoon of April 22nd, sipping on our chai tea lattes. I had printed out the submissions and blacked out the names so that she wouldn’t be biased (though that never stops a child from at least TRYING to see through the ink). We considered and rated elements like adherence to the rules, creativity and, what we found to be most important, how the submission sounded when read aloud.
And, ya know, if we hadn’t done that, we might not have ended up with today’s winner! I’ll admit that when I first read Rebekah’s submission, I was a little caught off guard and, therefore, not sure how I felt about it. But when Kendall read it TO me… Oh! There went the goosebumps! My heart spilled in appreciation for the manner in which her mother’s humility and thoughtfulness was translated.
What’s even funnier is that Kendall wasn’t entirely sure if she was sold on all of the dragon symbolism at first. Is this too weird? But her furrowed expression soon softened when I read the submission back to her. A definite gem.
Please enjoy Square Piece’s first contest winner Rebekah’s reflection on her mother:
(And, take my advice, have someone read it to you!)
Congratulations, Rebekah! I hope that you and your mother both are enjoying your Beauti Control goodies!
If my mother’s hands could talk—well, that would be something pretty miraculous, since she doesn’t have hands. Not in the way you think of hands, anyway. See, my mother’s a dragon. And before you get all huffy accusing me of Evil Lies and Dirty Daughterly Tricks, let me tell you it’s a compliment, and her tiniest talon coaxes more magic out of a day than all my four legs, pea-sized brain and rotten heart combined.
First off, she’s the best treasure hoarder of anybody I know. She’s got rubies, diamonds, sapphires, you name ‘em, sky-high gleaming mountains of children she’s loved into the Book of Life over the years. Me, I’m going to be grateful to sneak into eternity with selfish smoke curling at my heels. But when she flies through those gates, they’re going to need Mack trucks to haul in her cache.
Second, ohhhh I wish you could see her fly. She thinks she’s a pretty ordinary looking dragon, that she blends in with rocks and dirt and sand, but let me tell you, when she stands mountain-top and stretches those wings out, it’s like watching a poem burst to life all gold and fire like the rising sun. She’s made a hundred blankets or more for orphans, faithfully bleached toddler toys after class, done secret things like dropping off a sparkling new washing machine when somebody’s old one broke, and given, given, given of herself til (though she can’t see it) even at high noon she sparks off bits of glory.
I could go on, but since you’ve got more important stuff to do than listen to me yammer, I’ll just say one more thing. Most of us dragons are the clumsy, stupid sort who spend our days scratching around in the darkness feigning greatness. But she’s the real deal, a Queen in disguise with royal connections of her own. A lot of people say they know the Emperor but couldn’t tell you a thing about him. She, on the other hand, doesn’t bother name-dropping, not like that, anyway. Doesn’t need to, when they’re close friends the way they are. Sometimes when she talks, you can tell it’s his words coming out of her mouth. Her face lights up when she talks about him, too, in a way that even the deepest draconian flames never could.
So if her hands could talk—well, I guess they just wouldn’t need to. One of these days trumpets will do it for her.