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LJ Idol week 21: playing the odds
beeker
beeker121

 

“Hello?”

“Hello, Mrs. Greene?”

“Speaking.”

"This is Mrs. Saunders, calling from Idlewild Elementary. I need to talk to you about Sophie."

“Yes?”

“She's caused something of a ruckus on the playground today.”

"A ruckus? That seems-"

"She's been tackling boys and forcing them to kiss her."

Jennifer bit back a giggle, knowing that in a few more years the boys would like being tackled and kissed by a pretty girl. “I see.”

“I spoke with Sophie about her reasons, and she believes that the flowers told her it was okay.”

“The flowers?”  Sophie was a dreamer but she didn’t talk to plants.  It made no - then Jennifer remembered.  “We went to the park this weekend to see everything in bloom.  I taught her how to play ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ with the daisies.  Is that what she was doing?”

“Yes.  The flowers told her that every boy she asked about loved her, and she decided to kiss them so they’d know she liked them back.”  There was an undertone of amusement in Mrs. Saunders voice as she continued. “We’re going to keep her inside for afternoon recess today and talk to her a bit more about it, but we’d appreciate if you speak to her as well.  Love is all well and good, but it needs to come with fewer kisses and tackles, at least on school grounds.”

“Of course.”

They made polite good-byes and Jennifer hung up the phone, bemused.  She hadn’t expected Sophie to believe in ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ so strongly, but she was often surprised at the things her daughter chose to be passionate about.  It occurred to her that she could simply tell Sophie that the flowers were a game and didn’t really know anything.  But she didn’t want to do that.

Jennifer vaguely remembered having heard once that most flowers have an odd number of petals which meant that ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ was a cheat; if the flower was undamaged and the counter was careful he would always love you.  That discovery came with the same punch to the gut feeling she had shortly after she lost her virginity.  Her boyfriend asked her what was wrong and when she answered “I won’t ever be able to touch a unicorn” he didn’t know what to say.  It was strange – the things you knew in your head weren’t real at all that you held onto so carefully in your heart.  Mostly you didn’t even notice until they were gone.  Jennifer taught ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ to Sophie knowing it was mostly a cheat, but didn’t want to burst that bubble for her daughter yet.  After all, believing that everyone loves everyone else isn’t so bad.

When Sophie came home from school Jennifer helped her choose a snack, and then they went into the backyard to play.  The grass was getting long, and daisies and dandelions popped up in bunches.

“I understand you were tackling boys at school today.”

“Only the boys who wouldn’t stand still for a kiss.”

“Kisses have to be given and received freely.  You can’t force a kiss on someone.”

“Even if the flowers said that they love me?” Sophie’s bottom lip had a little bit of a quiver.

“Even then, pumpkin.  Kissing is nice when both people want to do it, but you have to make sure that’s true first. Kissing isn’t for school anyway.”

Sophie sighed.  “Okay.  But I don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to kiss me if the flowers say they love me.”

“Well, the boys may not be as smart as the flowers yet.”

Sophie grinned.  “That makes sense.”  She started dancing a little dance, humming to herself.

Jennifer looked at the daisies by her feet.  She did a quick check to be sure, but knew the odds were on her side when she picked a daisy to hold out to Sophie.  “Here, sweetie.  This flower knows if I love you or not.”

Sophie ran over to carefully take the daisy.  Then she began to sing-song “Mommy loves me” in a high-pitched voice followed by “Mommy loves me not” in a deep growly voice.  Jennifer counted along with her daughter with a smile.

“Mommy!  There’s only one petal left and that means…” Sophie pulled the petal out and yelled “Mommy loves me!”  She ran to Jennifer and stopped short just in front of her.

“Mommy, can I kiss you?”

“Of course you can, Soph.  I give you permission to kiss me for now and forever.”



***This is my entry for week 21 of LJ Idol for the topic 'playing the odds'.  It's an intersection week and my partner is the amazing serpentpixie .  Her open topic entry is right here, and all of this week's entries can be found in this
spot.***

 

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Aw, this is a sweet story.

Thanks. It came out sweeter than I originally thought it was going to be, but I like it.

This is totally cute and adorable!

“Well, the boys may not be as smart as the flowers yet.”

I LOVED this explanation! And it totally makes every bit of sense.

Well, it just makes sense, right? The boys will catch up though. Thanks for your kind words.

Awww! I love that Sophie understood that boys weren't as smart asflowers :)

Heh. At seven we all take some odd explanations to be perfectly rational (and I think it might still occasionally be true). Thanks for the kind words.

This was awesome! I especially love the line about the boys not being as smart as the flowers. Great job!

Thanks so much! Heh, that line is really jumping out at folks, I hope I don't alienate any of the guys still playing.

Heeee, I just re-read this and it made me smile more the second time around. I like it so much!! :D

Yay! I'm glad it inspires smiles, even after you watched it come together.

Thank you! I figured I did fathers and daughters last week so mothers and daughters this week.

This one also is an excellent entry. I already voted for you on the other but this one is so lovely I'd still have voted that way.

Thanks twice! The D&D entry amuses me, and honestly if it weren't an intersection week I probably wouldn't have bothered to correct you.

This is sweet and adorable and I love the underlying concept - that believing in something even when we now it's not true is it's own kind of magic. :)

Thanks so much. In my head it's a little bittersweet, for exactly that reason - true isn't the same as real.

Awww - I really enjoyed this! Very sweet! :)

Thanks so much. Sometimes you just have to trust the flowers.

"Well, the boys may not be as smart as the flowers yet.”

Haha!! Perfect line! Aw, this was so adorable... reminded me also of when I was 7 and I chased a boy down the street in order to catch and kiss him XD

Especially in grade school I think the boys have some catching up to do. I never kissed boys at that age but I was 'engaged' in the second grade, one of the boys in my class gave me a toy ring out of the machines at the grocery store.

Just lovely. Really :)

Thanks so much. I wanted to do something very different from last week's creepy.

A sweet story and almost a rite of passage to pluck the daisy petals.

I remember learning 'he loves me, he loves me not' and taking it so seriously when I was a kid. Thanks for reading.

Aww, thank you so much.

I love love love love love this.

Wow, five loves from you? That makes my day, thanks so much.

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