Sweet Seventeen


Well, exactly seventeen years ago right now, I was on the brink of being a mom for the first time. After my water broke at 6:00 p.m. on a Monday evening, Mackenzie finally made her grand entrance into the world….after 20 ¾ hours of labor, a partial placental abruption and an emergency c-section! (It was my girl who gave me grief! My boys both later shot out of my body with no surgery needed!) In honor of her big day, I decided to post a recent creative writing assignment she had for a homeschool class. She takes writing, history of World War II and a Bible couse (The spiritual legacy of C.S. Lewis) from my friend Jeanne Noorman. Mrs. N is also a director for the homeschool drama troupe Mackenzie is a member of. For this assignment, Kenzie wrote about an experience in kindergarten. She had a day where she wanted to escape from our homeschool. So I let her! Below is her account of the situation through the eyes of a third party reporter. Enjoy! I’ve gotta go bake my nearly adult daughter some brownies—gooey in the middle, just like she likes them—before she returns home from class and youth group tonight. Enjoy your babies moms. They do grow up before you know it!!! Birthday Blessings, Karen



Kenzie today.


Little girl, long brown hair, paper lunch sack, beat-up bike.

Last seen headed southbound toward Kibby Park.

Decided she was sick of kindergarden. Now a runaway.

Packed a PB&J sandwich, hopped on her bike, and headed off.

If found, please kindly return to 303 South Traver Street.

Thank you!

“It all started as a normal day. Just like any other day really. It was springtime. While the birds sang a melody so sweet, my child sat: arms folded, lips pursed and determined that it was too nice a day to be stuck in her ‘jail cell’ of a schoolroom. (Also known as the kitchen). After much debating she finally, reluctantly, gave in and began her work.” That was Karen, the mother’s, story. However the story seemed to alter slightly after sitting down for a chat with the daughter.

“After FIFTY-TWO HOURS of school, I was soooo bored!” said six-year-old Mackenzie. It seems that Farmer Brown and Cheddar the Mouse just weren’t as interesting as they had been at the beginning of the year. “My mom said that I had to finish my school before I went to the park. But I had been doing school all day, I NEEDED A BREAK!” “It had been about an hour and a half when she asked me if she could go to the park. I kindly assured her that we would go as soon as she was done with school and her little brother was awake from his nap.” Her mother explained, “She wasn’t too happy, though she agreed. After another twenty minutes, she was sure she was going to die. She told me that she was running away, I said ‘OK, would like help packing something to eat if you get hungry?’ I knew she wasn’t going to really run away.” “My mom made me do school for another THIRTY-TWO HOURS! I was soooo tired, and starving,” exclaimed the child. Then, sitting up straight as a pin and proper as can be, she voiced, “I told her I was running away! And she believed me! She helped me pack a lunch, and I left!” She seemed pretty impressed with herself. “We packed her lunch and she was off.” Karen said with ease. She hopped on her bike and headed off. I told her that she needed to wait for me to help her cross the road, which she did, from there on all I saw was her long ponytail swaying in the wind. Little did she know, I could see her from the kitchen window. I assumed she would be home in less than an hour, and she was! What a silly girl” “She was so scared!” replied Mackenzie to my question when I asked what her mom thought, “She didn’t know where I was, but if you don’t tell her I will tell you” I agreed, “I just went to the park and ate my sandwich, played, and when I got bored I came home. She said she had called the cops and took an ad out saying to bring me home if anyone found me. I didn’t believe her, but I guess she was being serious!” said the gap-toothed little girl twirling in her skirt. I could see what her mother meant about her getting tired of things after a short time. I thanked them both for talking to me and made my way out. As I did, I was reminded of the days when I was a child. When I thought that no one knew where I was, what I was doing, or when I would return. Little did I know my mother was watching form the window, keeping an eye on me to ensure my safety, even when I thought I was lost.


Female, Mid-teens, brown hair, messenger book bag, 1998 Buick LeSabre.

Last seen headed westbound toward Kibby Park.

Decided she was sick of life. Now a runaway.

Packed a Coke and Fritos, hopped in her car, and headed off.

If found, leave alone, she will return when she is ready.

Thank you!

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