The Big Red Bow

“Mom! Mom! I want that one, that one! The BIG red bow all the way up there! Can you get it for me please? Pleaseeeeeeeee, Mommie? ” “Oh alright. But you can only get one, so choose carefully. ” She sighs and looks up. She tips toe and grabs the bow down for her daughter. Her daughter quickly seizes the object from her mother and carries it with both her hands, as if someone is about to steal her most precious treasure. The little eight-year old girl strolls aimlessly with her mom in the store after she gets the bow, not caring what else there is in the store or what she needs for school.

Anyone can see her shiny white teeth a mile away because that’s the only thing you can see on her face. The big red bow had always been my priority on my back-to-school list. It is the first thing I scouted for when I roamed into the store and the last thing I thought about before I went to bed. Every girl in my fourth grade class had at least one. Some even had different colored bows or differently styled ones but I could only get one of my choice and color. On the first day of school, I would put my red bow on top of my ponytail diligently, hoping that it would stay on all day.

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I was incredibly eager to show my gorgeous red bow to all my classmates. I felt like I owned the most marvelous thing in the world. At that time, I knew that school wasn’t all about learning how to add or subtract, to me it was all about who had the best things and who was the most popular in the whole class. I thought that owning the best things in the world symbolized happiness, because it seemed like everyone who owned everything they wanted was happy. I would be if I was them. I have always wanted to be a spoiled brat because they always get whatever they want, but my mom never spoiled me.

So, naturally I wanted to that person whom everyone admired and praised. After taking more than an hour to get ready for school, I finally marched out of my house, ready to present my precious treasure to the world. I would grope around and enjoy the fascinating red and yellow autumn leaves while my face gleamed with a hint of obnoxiousness. As I stroll down the street, I would sneer at the girls who didn’t have a red bow on her head but I would look down at the pavements of the streets when a girl had a bigger and more admirable bow than mine. If a girl had the same-sized bow as me, I would grin at her with my dazzling white teeth.

As I pranced into a classroom full of eight and nine-year-olds, I would quickly glance around at each of the girl’s head as I picked a seat in the classroom, but time wasn’t my best friend. It quickly ran out as I was trying to examine each and every single bow on each girl’s head. I had to choose my seat wisely. I didn’t want to sit next to someone with a bigger and better bow than me. My final decision was to sit next to a girl who didn’t have a bow on her head because I knew that I would look better than she would. I spent my next ten minutes, exploring all the bows in the classroom.

A few caught my eyes and I eventually spent the rest of my day admiring the bows and wished they were all mine. I barely paid attention to the teacher. By the time school was over, I vividly memorized the colors and patterns of the most exquisite bows in the room. My first day was always my most glamorous day because I always wore my newly bought clothes, my brand-new shoes and my big red beautiful bow to school. I wanted to start nice and have a good impression on my classmates. I always secretly applied makeup in the bathroom and walked in my mom’s high-heels.

My mom didn’t let me wear any high-heels or wear any make-up because she thought that I was too young for it. She wanted me to grow up first and not rush into anything too soon. She frequently told me that I was pretty and young enough not to wear any make-up and that only old people wore make-up because they wanted to cover their flaws on their face. I had always liked special occasion because that was the only time when my mom allowed me to have make-up on. The next day, like usual, I took an hour to get ready for school but as I marched out the house proudly, I suddenly realized that I had the same bow as yesterday.

That sudden attack took my arrogance and eagerness to go to school away. I quickly took it out and tried to change and create some ridges in the bow, hoping that everyone would think it’s a different bow. I saw my neighbor on the way to school and she commented on how the big red bow looked perfect on me. That calmed my worries down and it made my ego rise a little. I walked into the classroom and like yesterday, I glanced around the room to see all the big and ravishing bows. I again chose to sit next to the same girl who didn’t have a bow on her head. I thought that at least I had one on my head and she didn’t.

The girls who had the most beautiful bows yesterday wore another bow today. The beauty and the elegance of all the bows in the classroom captured all my attention and I began daydreaming about a heaven full of bows. My teacher suddenly called on me to answer a question about multiplication and that interrupted my beautiful dream. I was practically drooling on my desk and I thought everyone was laughing at me for that but they were actually laughing at my teacher’s joke. I was beet-red even though my classmates weren’t laughing at me, because the feeling of being ridiculed took me over already.

I hate school! I thought I loved it but guess not. Why do we have to go to school? It’s not like we learn anything there. A couple of days passed and my self-esteem became lower and lower as I began to become frustrated with finding ways to change my bow around. I eventually gave up and I began walking into the classroom with a lifeless facial expression. Those girls continued to have different bows on but a few began wearing the ones they wore before. I stopped admiring the bows on the girls’ head because I felt ashamed of not having a different one on everyday.

The week finally ended and I was relieved that I didn’t have to think of ways to change my bow anymore, well, at least for two days. I was happy that I had a big red bow on my head but I wasn’t satisfied. I knew that I was more fortunate than many girls who didn’t own this lovely must-have child accessory like me, but I have always secretly wished that I could own all the bows in the world. I even dreamt about it a couple of times in my sleep, but I knew that my wish would never come true. I never told my mom about my secret desire.

My mom has always taught me to be happy of what I have and just be self-sufficient. She told me that I don’t have to spend extra money looking nice for someone else. I knew she was right but I couldn’t help praising the variety of the bows that other girls own. As weeks passed, I became less and less eager to go to school because I had nothing to show anymore. I knew that the girls in my class would probably know that I only have one bow and my bow was getting old. As eagerness and arrogance disappeared, embarrassment introduced itself to all my emotions and began to become the leader of all my emotions.

Then Christmas was arriving and everyone was in a jolly and cheerful spirit but I would always look depressed and miserable. My mom would ask me what was wrong but I never told her why because I knew that I’m not supposed to think this way. I tried not caring about what people thought about me but I couldn’t help it. I just wanted to fit in and be a normal person, not an outcast. I also knew that I couldn’t control what other people say about me but I have always thought that I could prevent some stuff from being said. I just wanted what other people had, things that they don’t cherish like I do and things they take for granted.

My birthday was four days after Christmas so we celebrated Christmas and my birthday together. I never get anything for either holidays but this year my mom took something out after dinner. I took the box with surprise and I opened it as quickly as I could. I opened it and to my surprise, it was a box full of bows. They were all different colored and had different styles. I gave my mom the biggest hug of my life and as I was doing so, I took a peek of her fingers her covered with band-aids. She tried to hide her fingers when she hugged but there were just too much of them.

All her fingers were covered with band-aids and the band-aids weren’t the ones that people used to cover a small paper cut; they were the ones that people used to protect a medium-sized cut or scrape. Tears began to come down my cheeks and my mom felt the drops of liquid on her shoulder. She pulled away and asked me what was wrong. I didn’t tell her that I saw her fingers all smothered with band-aids. I simply told her that I was very thankful that she did this for me, which I really was, and so happy that I began to cry. I realized that my mom made all those bows with her own bare hands.

I was really touched that my mom made my dream come. I couldn’t thank her enough. “Hi, can I sit here? ” “Sure. ” “What’s your name? ” “Sarah. ” “What’s your name? ” “Lisa. O yea, I really like your bow! Where did you get it? ” “My mom made it for me. ” After Christmas vacation, I went back to school, eager to show all my bows off, but this time I didn’t look down on any girl who didn’t have one nor did I look down when I saw a girl who had a bigger and more beautiful bow than me. I knew that these were the best bows that I could ever own.

I began paying attention in school and I did better in school than in the last semester. Looking back at this incident, I realized that I had always wanted to be the girl that all the girls wanted to be. I wanted to be a role model for everyone. I aimed to be the best in everything but talent was never on my side, I always lacked the talent to be the very best. I owned the talent to be very good, but after I reached my summit, my talent would just curve into a plateau. I was always scared to be criticized or ridiculed at because I didn’t have everything that everyone have, things that they take for granted.

I just wanted to like everyone else, someone whom everyone accepts. I guess it is true that people become older intellectually after their birthdays. I didn’t care if I had bigger and better bows than the girls in my class. I would proudly wear the bows my mom made me no matter what. I was never ashamed of them but I didn’t show them off like I did before. I became friendlier and I even began talking to the girls who didn’t own a bow. My mom truly is the best mom in the world because she fulfilled my wish of the longest time.