Broken!

By Linda Porter Carlyle

Trevor Paul Monroe got up on the wrong side of the bed. Actually, it was the same side he always got up on, but that’s what Mom said when he wandered into the kitchen with a big frown on his face. She took one look at him and said, “You must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.”

Trevor leaned against the kitchen counter and watched her pour orange juice into three tall glasses. “I don’t even know what that means,” he grumped. “The wrong side of the bed. It doesn’t matter what side of the bed you get out of!”

“It does if your bed is against the wall!” Ben said. He thumped Trevor on the head as he dashed to the counter and grabbed his glass of juice.

Brad, Trevor’s other big brother, was right behind his twin like a shadow. He thumped Trevor on the head too. “Are you wearing pajamas to school today?” he asked.

“Ouch!” Trevor exclaimed. He kicked at Brad’s leg and missed. Which was probably OK, he decided. Kicking somebody when you are barefoot could hurt your toes.

Ben and Brad carried their glasses to the table. They each poured an enormous bowl of their favorite cereal and began to munch and crunch their breakfast.

Mom took another look at Trevor. “Do you feel all right?” she asked. She put her hand on his forehead.

Trevor twisted his head away. “I feel fine,” he muttered.

Trevor stood at the counter and took tiny sips of his orange juice. Mom hadn’t found out yet what he had done last night. He could tell she hadn’t found out yet because the big rabbit cookie jar was still pushed far back on the counter. The rabbit’s tall ears rested against the wall.

The old rabbit cookie jar was very special to Mom. It was really, really old. Trevor knew it used to belong to Mom’s grandmother—that was his great-grandmother. Hardly anyone in the world had a cookie jar that old! Mom was very proud of it. Pretty soon Mom would wash the dishes. And when she finished, she would wipe off the counter. And then she would pull the cookie jar out from against the wall. And then she would know!

“Trevor,” Mom said, “you’d better hurry and eat some breakfast. You’ll be late for school.”

“I’m not hungry,” Trevor said glumly.

Mom stopped making sandwiches. She took Trevor’s face in her hands and looked at him. “What’s the matter?” she asked softly.

Trevor just shook his head.

“OK,” Mom said. She turned him around and gave him a little shove. “Go, get dressed.”

Trevor was sitting on the edge of his bed tying his left sneaker when he heard Mom call.

“Trevor! Trevor, come here!”

Trevor clumped slowly down the hall, one shoe off and one shoe on. He clumped through the dining room. He stopped just inside the kitchen doorway.

Mom stood at the counter, holding the lid to the rabbit cookie jar. She held the rabbit’s happy head in one hand and rabbit’s tall ears in her other hand. “Do you know anything about how this lid got broken?” she asked. She was not smiling.

Trevor stared at his feet. “I broke it,” he whispered.

“Were you, perhaps, dribbling a basketball in the kitchen again?” Mom asked sternly.

Trevor nodded.

Mom was quiet.

Trevor hung his head. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to break it.”

Mom was still quiet. That was kind of scary! Why didn’t she holler at him or something? Trevor peeked up at her through his eyelashes.

There were tears on Mom’s cheeks. Trevor froze. Making Mom cry was much worse than being hollered at!

Mom laid the two pieces of the cookie jar lid on the counter. She reached for Trevor and put her arms around him. “I forgive you,” she said.

Trevor buried his face in Mom’s T-shirt. The frozen part inside him melted into tears. “I won’t dribble in the kitchen ever again! I promise!” he mumbled.

Mom leaned over and kissed the top of Trevor’s head. She kissed the exact place where Brad had thumped him. “I sure do hope you’ve learned your lesson,” she said. “But I want you to know that if you ever need forgiving again, I’ll forgive you. Because you are my own dear child.”

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