“Scarf Wars,” Friend, September 2020
“Twelve times twelve is … one hundred forty-four!” I shouted.
“Great job, Chakell!” Mrs. Good said. My whole class cheered. I was the first student to pass off all my multiplication tables.
I grinned as I walked back to my desk. I’d practiced with Dad all week and was feeling proud of myself. But then I saw another student stand up—Jack.
“OK, Jack. Let’s see if you can pass off your twelves today too,” Mrs. Good said.
My friend Jack was really smart. We were always trying to beat each other at everything. Usually we just tied.
Jack passed off his twelves perfectly. “We’re still tied!” he said as he sat down.
“Yeah,” I said. “Good job.” I was happy for him, but I felt like something was squishing my heart. I frowned and stared at the prickly cactus growing by the window.
Passing off my twelves didn’t feel very special anymore.
That afternoon, Mrs. Good pulled out a a plastic circle with pegs on it. “This is a loom,” she explained. “We’re going to use it to make scarves.”
Jack grinned at me. “I bet I can finish my scarf before you.”
“Not if I beat you first!”
We both laughed. I was excited. This was something I could be the best at.
The next day, I brought pink and purple yarn to school. Mrs. Good helped us wrap our yarn around our looms. I grabbed my red hook, ready to start.
At first, making the scarf was easy. I used my hook just like Mrs. Good showed us. But soon, it got harder. I couldn’t remember what to do next.
Maybe I should ask for help, I thought.
But then I glanced at Jack. His black and red stitches already filled his loom. He was winning!
Why is this so hard for me? My yarn looked like tangled spaghetti.
That night, I told Mom about my scarf. “I don’t know why it’s so hard,” I wailed. “If I have to ask for help, that must mean I’m not very smart. Jack never has to ask for help, and now he’s going to win!” My eyes got watery.
Mom pulled me into a warm hug. “Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re not smart. Everyone needs a little help sometimes.”
“Everyone?” I asked.
“Everyone,” Mom said. “We pray to ask Heavenly Father for help all the time.”
I hadn’t thought of that.
The next day, it was craft time again. I stared at my loom. I looked at Jack. His scarf was twice as long as it was yesterday. I took a deep breath and walked over to my teacher.
“Mrs. Good, can you please help me with my scarf? I’m not very good at it,” I said.
Mrs. Good smiled at me. “Of course! Learning new things takes practice. You just aren’t good at it yet.”
Soon, after Mrs. Good gave me a few pointers, my yarn was finally turning into a scarf!
Jack finished his scarf a few days later. He showed me his black and red masterpiece. I showed him my pink and purple work in progress.
“Your scarf is looking great,” Jack said.
I grinned at him. “Yours too. You’re really good at this. And you beat me!”
He laughed. “I did, but I can’t ever keep up with how many books you read.”
With a smile on my face, I picked up my hook and got back to work.