That Can Wait
In a red brick house along a grassy street lived a young girl with straight black hair. With this little girl lived her mother, her baby brother, and their shaggy brown dog, Bart.
One day, her mom told her, “Amanda (for that was her name), I would like you to pick your dolls from the floor. We have guests tonight and you do not want them accidentally stepping on your dolls do you?”
“No mother. I will put them away at once.” Amanda answered.
When her mother left, Amanda thought to herself, “I shall pick my dolls up later. I am too busy playing. The guests don’t arrive until tonight, and it’s only noon. That can wait. That can wait.”
And wait the dolls did still lying on the floor. They waited and waited and waited, until evening came, and the guests arrived, and too distracted by the conversations, trampled the dolls to ripped pieces.
“My dolls! They’ve been trampled!” cried little Amanda as tears streamed down her eyes. “I should have kept them safe when my mommy told me. I shouldn’t have wasted a second.”
Amanda’s mom wrapped her arms around her, “Next time listen sweet Amanda. Now your dolls are ripped but dolls can be replaced. If you do not learn to listen someday you may lose something impossible to replace.”
The next day, Amanda’s mother called her “Amanda, Amanda, your dog Bart needs a bath. Go grab a tub, some shampoo, and scrub, scrub, scrub.”
“Yes mother!” Amanda answered. But when her mother had left, Amanda thought, “Bart gets dirty so fast! I’ll wait for him to get a little more dirty before his bath. I’d rather play anyway. Bart can wait. Bart can wait”
And Bart did wait, until evening came, he was so black with dirt that the car didn’t see him standing in the middle of the road. With a thud, Bart went rolling down Amanda’s street. When he finally stopped rolling he had also stopped moving. Dirty Bart was dead.
When Amanda found out, she cried, “Bart is dead! My doggy is gone! I should have shampooed. I should have scrubbed. He would not have been so black. The driver would have stopped! Now I have no dog and Bart is no more. It’s my fault. It’s my fault. I should have listened.”
Amanda’s mom wrapped her arms around her and gently said, “Next time listen sweet Amanda. Now our Bart is dead. We can buy a new dog but he wouldn’t be Bart. I warned you might lose something impossible to replace. Now dry your eyes and learn. If you do not listen you may lose something with a soul.
The next day, Amanda’s mother called her, “Amanda, Amanda, I need your help. I have to prepare our dinner. Please watch your brother as he plays. Please watch him like a hawk.”
“Yes, mom”, Amanda answered. “I’ll be your hawk. I’ll watch him well.”
But when her mother left, Amanda thought to herself, “He seems alright crawling there. I would rather play. I’m not a nanny. That’s not my job. I’ll come back later. My brother can wait. My brother can wait.”
And wait he did…
… But not for long.
The end of the story is up to us, and it rests on our life’s choices. We’ve all lost replaceable things and we’ve all lost irreplaceable things. They form our life’s regrets. But saddest of all are the men, women, and children lost, when maturity is made to wait.