Flags and Fractions

Posted: June 7, 2010 in My Story, Part Two
Tags: , , ,

Riding past a sprawling and impressive car dealership, a small, front-seat passenger whispered a very sincere allegiance in her heart.  Not to the dealership, mind you, but to the banner flying over it.  A steady wind unfurled the regal Old Glory as the child completed her patriotic creed. She followed her sincere pledge with a sincere prayer, making apology to God for not being in school in order to more properly honor the emblem.  To her, it seemed as much an affront to Him that she was kept from pledging her allegiance as it was a slight against her Uncle Sam.

God indulged Lainie’s concern over the cotton and polyester and comforted the little girl.  He calmed her heart and cradled the real issue in His.

– – –

The child had been in school at the beginning of the year.  On the first day, she nearly lost all manner of 3rd grade decorum when she saw that Mrs. Gannon would be her teacher again.  Unfortunately, the excitement was to be short-lived.  Lainie, Mara, and their mother had to move due to sudden unemployment.  Then, after a few weeks at a tiny, new school in a tiny, new town, they had been forced to move again—this time due to their pursuers getting a bit too close.

Cecelia had immediately enrolled Lainie in another school in a yet newer town, but it was made clear to the daughter from the very beginning that she would not be there for long.  Cee Cee’s now meager wages simply could not afford the private school’s tuition, and, being entirely too dangerous, public school was completely out of the question. Knowing the importance of education, the desperate mother devised a plan, and it became the child’s task to convince her teacher of something that would seem a little bit silly.

– – –

Apparently a normal day for everyone else, teachers and students behaved as though everything would continue to be as it always had been.  Of course, they had no way of predicting that everything would change tomorrow—at least for Lainie.  Certainly they would notice, but no immediate attention would be paid.

That’s an assumption.  Lainie would leave, and she would once again have no way of knowing if she’d be missed at this new school where she was foolishly making new friends.  Leaving her last school was hard, mostly due to the awkward and sudden circumstances.  There had only been one other child in her grade, however, so she hadn’t formed any close friendships.

Leaving the school with Mrs. Gannon was much worse; she’d been there for more than a year!  Being in another school setting eased the pain a little, even if it was only for a few days.

Lainie loved school.  But, it was time—dismissal.  “Mrs. Stivic?” the little girl began.

Understandably reluctant, Mrs. Stivic tried to dissuade her new pupil.  Lainie persisted by telling her that she wanted to look through all her new schoolbooks and show them to her mom.  Unimpressed and eyeing the clock, Mrs. Stivic relented with a wave of her hand and allowed the apparently silly child to haul the heavy load home.  The child and the teacher exchanged goodbyes, but only Lainie knew the weight of her words.

Those stolen books became Lainie’s new teachers.  Lainie became a home-school kid, and a rather independent one at that.  The books were good teachers, and it was usually easy for her to follow the directions.  Exception: fractions.  Have you ever tried to learn fractions by reading a book?

This nine-year-old did, but she didn’t learn them very well.



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