“Mom, can I go play?” Kayla asked. “My morning chores are done.”
“Yes, you may,” Mom replied. “Thank you for doing everything so quickly.”
Kayla had been looking forward to summer break. She enjoyed the freedom summer brought. She loved the warm breezes, trying to catch butterflies, and skipping stones in the pond. So far this summer had been perfect, except for one problem.
“Wait for me!” Kayla’s younger sister, Brooke, cried.
Kayla grew frustrated as she waited for Brooke to catch up. “Pretty soon summer will be over, and I’ll have spent the whole time waiting for my sister,” she thought.
Kayla waited while Brooke tied her shoes. She waited while Brooke looked for her butterfly net. And she waited a long time for Brooke to catch a butterfly before they could go inside for lunch.
Things were the same after lunch. Kayla had just learned to ride her bike without training wheels. She loved pedaling hard, then coasting as far as she could. Brooke wanted to ride her tricycle too, but she couldn’t ride nearly as fast. Kayla didn’t feel like waiting anymore.
“Wait for me,” Brooke said as Kayla rode past.
“Zip!” went Kayla on her bicycle. She zipped and whooshed up and down the sidewalk while Brooke tried her hardest to keep up.
After a while, Kayla noticed how quiet it was. She listened nervously. She couldn’t hear Brooke, and she hadn’t seen her for a while. Worried, Kayla looked around the yard. Then she noticed Brooke sitting onthe lawn, frowning.
“I’m trying, but I can’t keep up with you. I give up,” Brooke said as she put her head down and began to cry.
Kayla sat down next to her. She felt terrible. “I’m sorry I left you behind,” she said. “Will you forgive me?”
Brooke looked up but didn’t answer.
“We can ride together,” Kayla said, smiling. “But only if you’ll wait for me.”
Brooke got on her tricycle and Kayla pushed her to the top of the sidewalk. “Now wait here while I get my bike.” Kayla ran down to her bike and quickly rode it back up. Then they coasted down together. Kayla set her bike down and began pushing Brooke back up the sidewalk again. She glanced at her sister, who sat smiling like a princess. Kayla’s frustration was gone. Instead, she felt warm and happy.
They rode together until they were so tired they flopped down in the long green grass. They stayed there and listened to the crickets until Mom called them inside.
Mom had been watching Kayla from the kitchen window. “That was a very unselfish thing you did today, Kayla,” she said, kissing her on the head. “Thank you for taking such good care of your sister. I think you treated her like Jesus would want you to.”
“This has been my best summer day,” Brooke said.
Kayla loved the way she felt inside. “Mine too,” she said.
Illustrations by Mark Robison