top of page

The Lessons of a Child

Shea Denahy
Screen Shot 2023-04-19 at 10.41.59 PM.png

"Size 9"

Amelia House

I woke up to the sun shining through my blinds. My eyes remained heavy and resistant to opening. All at once, I came to my senses and jumped out of bed. A wave of excitement came over me as I ran down the stairs. My mom had just bought me my own pair of scissors and I finally could try them. Scissors seemed new and exciting because I could create so many new things. I ran over to my mom and before she could even say good morning, I begged her to let me use my brand-new scissors, “Please mom, I’ll be careful.” I had used scissors before and I knew the rules that my mom had in place. “All right, but remember,” she said, “don’t cut anything but paper.” 


I ran to my table and began finding as many pieces of paper as possible to shred until my princess craft table appeared to be covered with snow. My mom walked upstairs to get ready for church, so I sat alone to create whatever I could imagine. 

I sat at my table surrounded by supplies and my brand-new scissors. I had picked them out specifically because of their vibrant pink color. In my lap sat the blanket that I always had with me since the moment I was born. Its vibrant yellow color had faded to a pale yellow; however, that didn’t bother me. Whenever I held it, it gave me a sense of protection and permanence. I needed to protect it because it protected me. 


I slowly began to cut my paper and one by one the giant pile of printer paper began to get smaller and smaller. After thirty minutes the pile disappeared and I had nothing left to cut up. Disappointed, I dropped my scissors and slowly grew bored. I looked around the room but everything that crossed my vision looked dull and uninteresting. I glanced into my lap once again and a spark of curiosity hit me. My hands grazed the thick material of my blanket, and I wondered if it could tear from the sharp blade of the scissors. My mind continued to grow more and more curious and finally, I broke under the pressure. Surely my tiny scissors wouldn’t cut through my blanket! 


I slowly lifted up my blanket and guided my scissors toward the center. My shaky hands clamped down on the handle of the scissors. Snip. I pulled my scissors away and refrained looking out of fear. I knew what that sound meant. I eventually glanced back to my blanket to see a tiny hole right in the center. Oh no, what have I done? 


My scissors slipped from my hands and fell to the floor. Suddenly the room got very quiet and the walls surrounding my table closed in. My shaky breath broke the silence and I panicked. My body got hot and a pit in my stomach slowly formed. What was this feeling? As tears welled up in my eyes, I tried to undo my actions. Surely, I could fix it, right? The longer I stared at the blanket the more I worried. Then it hit me. What would my mom think? I had promised her that I would only cut paper. 


I faced two decisions: do I tell my mom what I have done and ask for her help, or do I hide the blanket and hope she doesn’t see? I feared her anger and decided to hide it. I couldn’t shake that feeling, though. I wanted so badly to go back and change what had happened, but I knew that I couldn’t. 


For the first time, I experienced the bitter feeling of regret. The foreign feeling invaded my mind, and I feared moving in case I made another mistake. I sat at my table paralyzed.


As I began to collect my thoughts, I attempted to hide the evidence of my terrible mistake. I tried to return to my previous activities and wipe the dreadful look off my face. Just as I finally straightened everything out, a thump echoed upstairs, then another, and another. My mother slowly began walking down the stairs. At that moment time froze.

bottom of page