Raffle Raffle Frozen Raffle

Tonight was family fun night at Fern’s preschool. There were dollar slices of pizza, free drinks, a baked goods sale, and dollar raffle tickets you could buy and drop into varying prize buckets with hopes of having your name drawn and winning. We bought several tickets, dropping most into the bucket for free passes for Tweetsie Railroad (a $156 value), quite a few in the “Frozen” gift basket bucket which held the movie, dress up clothes, books and other memorabilia, and some here and there in other baskets that caught the girl’s attention. There were about 50 prizes in all to be raffled away. With the anticipation of each name drawn and each prize given away, Ollie danced and hopped with excitement. Fern, too little to care about the prizes, was more into hugging on Mrs. ‘Silla at the baked goods table , glowing at the novelty of seeing her preschool teacher at night. One by one, names were drawn and called, prizes collected. We didn’t win the gift certificates to the restaurants on Walker Ave. We didn’t win the collection of art supplies. We didn’t win the summer fun basket. We held high hopes for the Tweetsie Railroad tickets, but alas, we didn’t win that, either. Ollie was sure we would win the Frozen basket. “Mama! I just KNOW we are going to win the Frozen basket! I really want that DRRRESS!!” she exclaimed numerous times happily jumping in my face. She held her hands together as they spun the basket that held the tickets around and around. She stood stock still as the lady pulled out the lime green ticket that held the Frozen movie gift basket’s fate. There was a slight pause as the lady squinted to read the name written on the ticket. Ollie raised both her hands up high in the moment of hope. And then collapsed in utter defeat when the name that was read was not ours…. As soon as we walked out the door of the school’s fellowship hall, nearing 8 o’clock, both girls fell into inconsolable distraught. Fern hollered, squealed, flounced, “I wanna hug Mrs. Sillaaaaaaa, I WANNA HUG MRS. SILLAAAAAAA!” I’ve never seen Ollie so disappointed in my life. Ever. Over and over and over through her high pitched cries that lost breath, “I wanted to win the Frozen baaaaasket! AAAAAaaaahuhuuuuhuuh! I wanted to win it! Mooooommmmmmy! It was so special to meeeeeeee!” …It was a long long 8 minute drive back to our house. The red stoplights mocked me. The woeful wails of my children widened my eyes to full circles, I am sure, as I directed our vehicle over the potholed roads back to our house. At some point I began singing Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All”. “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess insiiiiiide, give them a sense of pride, to make it easier…” The singing did not help much to stop the girls howling, but it unquestionably calmed my nerves that were unraveling from the din of their bawling. So grevious in their broken hearts, I undressed them, put them in their nightgowns, held one each knee, still singing til they went silent, “…And if, by chance, that special place that you’ve been dreaming of leads you to a lonely place, find your strength in love.”



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