Once upon a time, just the other day, there lived a family of five just down the street. Some days Momma stayed home, and some days Daddy stayed home. Every day Ava Anne, Savannah Lynn, and Hunter Thomas stayed home. Nothing extravagant ever seemed to happen. In fact, every day seemed almost the same as the day before. When Ava Anne, Savannah Lynn and Hunter Thomas awoke, they would tip-toe out of their bedrooms, down the hall, and to the kitchen. Momma or Daddy would be there or on the nearby couch, reading or eating or doing something uninteresting like sorting mail.
On this particular day, Ava Anne awoke with her little sister, Savannah Lynn, looking right at her. Ava Anne jumped a little.
“Vannah!” Ava Anne said with a start. “What are you doing?”
Savannah Lynn giggled. She had been awake for a while now, but she didn’t want to leave the room without her “sissy.”
“Good morning!” Savannah Lynn said with a grin.
“Ugh.” Ava Anne grumbled. “Your breath stinks!” It was true, Savannah Lynn’s morning breath was not pleasant. Then again, neither was Ava Anne’s.
“Let’s go play!” Savannah Lynn suggested. This is what she had been waiting for. It was no fun waking up first if no one else was awake to play with.
“Oh, fine.” Ava Anne said. She rubbed her sleepy eyes.
Ava Anne and Savannah Lynn crawled out of their big bed, tip-toed down the hall and toward the kitchen. Momma was making toast and scrambled eggs.
“Oh, good. You finally woke up. I was just about to come get you,” Momma said.
“Why?” Ava Anne asked. “It’s not that late.” She looked at the clock on the microwave. It said 8:03.
“No, but you need to get dressed and get going on your school-work, Ava,” Momma said.
“Right now?” Ava Anne asked.
“No, not right now. You can eat breakfast first. Then I want you to get dressed and come back out here.”
“But Vannah and I want to play.” Ava Anne argued.
“I’m glad you want to play together,” Momma said, “ but this morning I need you to work on your school work. Ok?”
Ava Anne sighed. She did not always like having Momma as her teacher, but that’s what happens when you home school. Ava Anne had never attended a regular school, ridden a school bus, or packed a lunch. Instead, Ava Anne did most of her school-work at the computer desk in the dining room or at the kitchen table.
Today, when Ava Anne finished with her breakfast and when she finished getting dressed, she sat down at the computer desk. Momma had already turned on the computer and had stacked Ava Anne’s books at the end of the desk.
“Today I want you to write a story, Ava Anne,” Momma instructed. “It can be about anything you want, but I want you to make it up. This is called fiction.”
“Write a story?” Ava Anne asked. “That’s too hard for me.”
“No, it is not,” Momma said. “You make up stories all the time when you play with your dolls. It doesn’t have to be very long, maybe a page or two. If you need more help you can look at lesson 25 in your literature book. Ok?”
Ava Anne nodded. What would she ever write about? How was she supposed to make up a whole story and write it down? What could I write about. Ava Anne thought. Dolls? No. Horses? No. Well, maybe. An adventure? Maybe. But what kind of adventure? Ava Anne thought and thought. Finally, as she was imagining an adventure in her own backyard, she got it. I know! I’m going to write about a girl who…
Ava Anne began typing. “Once upon a time, there lived a girl,” she wrote. She kept typing, with little pauses here and there to think of the next word. Finally, Ava Anne was finished. She had written two whole pages! Momma was going to be so proud.
“I’m done!” Ava Anne yelled to Momma who was helping Savannah Lynn with her homework in the other room. Momma came in to see what Ava had done. She smiled when she saw two pages.
“Let me sit down so I can read it,” Momma said. Ava Anne got up from the office chair. Momma started reading. Every now and then she would smile as she muttered a few words under her breath. Ava Anne was nervous. She was not sure Momma would like it. After a while, Momma finally smiled a big, toothy smile.
“That’s great, Ava Anne. See? I told you you could do it. I think you might be a writer some day.”
Ava Anne grinned, but said, “I can’t be a writer. I’m not that good. But you like my story?”
Momma frowned. “Ava, don’t ever say you can’t do something. You can do just about anything. And you, my dear, wrote a very good story.”
“Alright,” Ava Anne said with a sigh. “Maybe I’ll be a writer some day. Or maybe I won’t. Ok?”
“Ok,” Momma said with a grin. “Now, how about that math homework?”