Practice makes Perfect…

Over the last 2 weeks I’ve been participating {or attempting to I should say} with other bloggers in bonding together, supporting each other through reading each others blogs as well as other types of support. This event is called the SITS Find your Tribe… and I’ve met so many wonderful bloggers!

One of the bloggers in the “Flipper Tribe” I am a part of is Texan Mama whose blog I had visited previously… but never read on a regular basis. As we have gotten to know each other, we decided to a “guest post” exchange today!

I hope you all enjoy her fictional story… I know I did. 🙂 And be sure to visit the Texan Mama’s blog today as well to see a what I have contributed.

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First the butter and sugar. Then the eggs and vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients. Her toothpick-arms grow tired as she stirs the thick battter around and around and around, until all the ingredients are mixed completely. Ten minutes at 350 degrees.

“Mama, why don’t these cookies taste like YOUR cookies? I followed your recipe. I did it the way I see you do it.”

“Oh, my love, you have to remember: practice makes perfect. I have been baking chocolate cookies longer than you’ve been alive. You’ll get it exactly right someday. But for now, just keep practicing.”
Ball. Ball. Strike. Foul. Please God, please don’t let her hit the ball out here. Please don’t let it come to right field. Please let it just…. oh no…

The ball sails up, up, up, into the bright afternoon sun. She raises her right hand to shield her eyes and pushes her left hand out in front of her, opening her glove as wide as it will go. Out of the corner of her eye she can see the batter rounding first base. She can hear her teammates screaming her name. Catch it! Catch it!

The ball lands with a thud in the grass, just out of arms reach. She feels a mix of anger, embarassment, and disappointment. Why did her dad make her play softball again this year? Why did he volunteer to coach? No matter what he says, she knows she stinks just as much as she did last season. Now everyone on the team is going to hate her. None of those girls know how many pop-ups she’s caught in the backyard. None of them know the hours she’s spent practicing. It all means nothing if she isn’t perfect when it counts.

She hears the front door slam. It’s late, probably after midnight. If Mom and Dad hear the teenager coming in after curfew, they’ll go ballistic. This is what a big sister is for.

As she nears the bedroom door, she hears sobbing. She knocks quietly, and her sister composes herself and opens the door. “We broke up,” she says through tears. “He told me he loved me. He told me that I was the one. We were going to get married after graduation. I’m never going to fall in love again if it hurts this bad!” She holds her little sister’s hand and looks into her eyes, and tells her, “It hurts now but it won’t hurt forever. He wasn’t the right one for you. He was just a practice run. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. Don’t give up on love. Practice makes perfect.”

The glass doors slide open and she breathes in the familiar smell of Pine-Sol. Down the hall to physical therapy. It’s 1:07, so Mom should be started already.

As she enters the room, she watches as her mom grimaces with each step, a crooked smile on her face and a limp arm next to her body. The old woman struggles to move her leg forward, but her toes drag the floor and she can’t lift them enough to take a step. A therapist helps the woman back into her wheelchair and her crooked smile changes to a look of defeat. Her eyes reveal a mix of embarassment, anger, and disappointment.

She hurries to her mother’s side. “Mom, it’s only been a week and a half. You can’t expect to walk again so soon after the stroke! Give it time.” “But when?” she asks, hoping her daughter can give a reassuring answer. “Just keep trying. I’ll be here to catch you if you fall. Keep practicing. Practice makes perfect.”