Great Potential

When I was growing up, I was always the girl everyone said would make a great mom. It made sense; I love being around kids. I was a babysitter for the neighbor’s children when I was ten, and they liked the work I did so much they recommended me to their friends. When I finished high school, I was one of the few people who knew exactly what she wanted to do after college: teach! What better way to enjoy children than being a formative presence in their young lives?

After I got my Masters, I was lucky enough to get a job as a kindergarten teacher in the city. Growing up on a farm in the Midwest was something I’ll always be proud of; great people, strong faith, meat and potatoes meals, and all that, but I really hoped I’d end up in a big city. Lo and behold, my prayers were answered.

I love my teaching job. The kids are absolutely precious and adorable. I do my best to make sure they leave with knowledge and a smile. Some days are sad; a lot of the children are from poorer neighborhoods and have to deal with all the associated baggage that comes with being raised in those conditions. Still, I work hard and I’m pretty proud of the help I’m able to provide.

Being alone in the city can take its toll, though. I get pretty lonely. A lot of my time is spent online talking to other teachers and people with whom I share a faith. Isn’t the Internet great? I was fortunate enough to find a group of people, some of whom are also teachers, and we began to form a relationship. We’re all fans of kids. That almost makes it sound like we’re groupies following a band, doesn’t it? No, we just recognize the great potential the younger generation has. Our future is in their hands. It’s a shame so many grownups don’t see that.

To my surprise, it turned out quite a few of my online friends lived in the same city as me. The next logical step was to meet up with them, so I did, and they were lovely. So impassioned! I was motivated by their protective drive and their strong faith and they readily welcomed me into their flock, so to speak. After some time, I began attending their church instead of my own, which wasn’t a difficult separation since I’d only been in the city for a short period of time. This new one seemed like a much better fit.

The pastor has a strong love for young boys and girls and he mentions the importance of them every Sunday in his sermon. After the service last week, he approached me and asked to meet with him in private. Apparently a couple members of our group had spoken to him about me. Just thinking about it makes me feel warm and accepted. So, we met up and talked for a long time. Most of what he told me was stuff I already knew, but he somehow communicated an urgency that I never saw before. Now I do.

Anyway, this morning I had to call in sick because I have something really important to do. It’s a pretty good drive, about three hours, but I think it’ll be worth it in the end. I’ll get there around 11 a.m. if I leave now, and as long as I can be in and out in a couple minutes I can be home before dinner.

While I get ready, I keep thinking about how my dad used to take me hunting when I was a kid. His friends thought it was weird for a father to take a girl shooting, but our family never had any boys, so he treated me like the son he never had. I appreciate it, though. It’s that experience I’m going to need later this morning when I stop those doctors from murdering any more unborn babies. They have no right to steal those innocent lives from the world.

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7 thoughts on “Great Potential

  1. Oh goodness, I was expecting a different twist. Then again I guess it wouldn’t have been as much of a twist if it had been! Great work

  2. This has been one of my favourite short stories for a long time. Even though I’ve read it before, the ending still leaves me feeling shell-shocked. It’s like: I just spent most of the story seeing the narrator as the most compassionate, moral person I could imagine, almost Ned Flanders! And then she does… that?!

    And then you realise that most of the monsters who attack (or even just asshole-ish-ly protest) planned parenthood are people like this. Good, upstanding pillars of the community who just happen to have certain values so incredibly strong that they have eclipsed the usual morals we all have.

    I’m not saying I sympathize with those who commit horrors like the narrator here, but when you understand it this way, it’s so clear that they are just good people doing evil things. And that’s horrifying.

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