Talkety Girl

Mindy snuggles her three-year-old bottom into my lap, and as we rock says, “Tell me a story.”

“What shall I tell you about?”

“Tell me a story about Mindy and her mommy on a el-ee-phant with an orange saddle on it. The el-ee-phant goes fast, but they don’t fall off because Mindy’s holding onto the brains. …”

Her fantastic journey gradually melts into a nap for both of us.

To draw from the minds of others is to draw from a bottomless well. To reach for what is already there and organize it in time and space is what the Lord did when he created the earth. Penny Allen, Bountiful, Utah

[illustration] Illustrated by Janae Smith

“I’m Going to Be Happy”

Several of my unmarried friends and I were anxious to find our “one and only” and get on with things. We complained a lot about our lives—until I ran into a woman with a refreshing attitude. “I’m going to lead an interesting, fulfilled life,” she said. “Whether I marry or not, I’m going to be happy.”

I realized there were things to change in my own life. When I began enjoying present opportunities, I met my future husband, who liked my attitude.

Now, when the “happily ever aftering” gets routine, when there are too many diapers to wash and the baby cries, I stop and say, “I’m going to be happy, no matter what.” And it works. Anya Bateman, Salt Lake City, Utah

Learning, Teaching

As the second graders entered the room, I stood at the door, a bit afraid of the unknowns for the school year. But the frightened and anticipating eyes of my pupils told me I could teach them. Thus I learned my first lesson of the year.

As my class filed out at the end of the year, I stood by the door handing out report cards and farewells. I did not know how I could bear to release these children from my life. But even as they left my presence I was learning from them. Each one eagerly searched the paper I handed out—not for what was recorded of the past, but for the name of next year’s teacher. My years of motherhood and teaching young children have taught me that the personal progress of others often depends on my willingness to accept the sometimes difficult burden of change. Mildred Barthel, Mt. Vernon, Iowa

Her Children Felt Secure

I know a family, with three little children, who moved very frequently, yet the mother, wisely, helped her children feel at home and secure no matter where they were.

As soon as they moved to a new town, the mother and children went for a walk. If it were day, they noted that the same sun shone on them, watched for signs of the same season they had left behind, and looked for mountains and rivers which also reminded them of familiar things.

If they arrived at night, they walked together under the stars, pointing out the same moon and the same friendly constellations. This custom reinforced the children’s feeling that “God’s in his heaven—All’s right with the world” (Robert Browning, “Pippa Passes,” pt. 1). Caroline Eyring Miner, Salt Lake City, Utah

A Time and a Season

We had our first baby less than a year after we were married. But although we had happily looked forward to the event, I was shocked to discover that I wasn’t prepared for the total commitment motherhood demands.

It was hard to give up my freedom. I longed to continue going to school with my husband, to read, to paint, to write. But how could I do all of those things when my baby demanded so much of my time?

Since then, I’ve learned something: there is a season for everything. The night colic and the peanut-butter-in-the-hair stage will eventually pass. But so will the joys of my baby’s first smile, his first steps, his first little prayer.

I’ve come to understand that each stage in my life can be a joy if I am determined not to blind myself by impatience, selfishness, and dissatisfaction. Geri Brinley, Ogden, Utah