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Mother's Day
Not a Typical Mother's Day

Mother's Day
Mother's Day

Not a Typical Mother's Day
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.02

     challenging words:    brunch, high-paying, typist, unaffected, workload, dealing, typical, skillful, elementary, full-time, wherever, actually, meantime, level, beginning, jobs

Not a Typical Mother's Day
By Beth Beutler

1     This was not going to be a typical Mother's Day. A lot of things had changed in the last few months. Our family was going through a difficult time. In years past, we would give Mom flowers and take her out for a fancy brunch. We couldn't afford it this year.
2     You see, my dad's company laid off over a hundred people back in January. Since I was born, Mom had been able to stay home with me. When I went to school, she was always available to drop me off and pick me up. We always had enough money to go out to eat two or three times a week or go to the store to get some new clothes or a toy if I had behaved well. Most of the friends I hung around with were in the same situation. Their fathers had high-paying jobs and their mothers stayed at home. Our mothers even spent time together while we were at school.
3     All that changed in January.
4     Dad got a little moody. Mom would tell me to be quiet and let him rest at night. He'd work later and later. I found out that he was working a second job, because he feared his company would eliminate his main job. He was right.
5     Beginning in February, Dad tried hard to find another job. But it wasn't easy for him to find something at the level he was used to. He worked at all sorts of things in the meantime, but he could not bring in as much money. That's when my mom decided to go back to work.
6     Mom was a skilled typist and very good at organizing things. I could tell that she would rather stay home, but she knew that another source of income would really help our family. After a couple of weeks, she landed a full-time job at a bank downtown. The pay would be a big help, but now Mom would not be around as much. I didn't like it.
7     Most of my friends' families were unaffected by the layoffs, so their mothers still volunteered at school and picked them up. I now had to stay in the after-school care program instead of going home and playing in my neighborhood. Some of the kids made fun of me, saying I had to go to "day care." To make things worse, as soon as I did get home, I had to help get dinner ready, because Mom wouldn't get home until after 6:00. On top of all that, Mom seemed to enjoy her job! I didn't appreciate that at all. Here we were doing all this work, missing out on the fun stuff, and she seemed to be enjoying her new adventure!
8     I guess I didn't hide my attitude too well, because Dad sat me down for a good talk the other night. He said, "Josh, I've noticed you've been unhappy and sour lately. You have also not been using a kind tone with your mother. That is going to stop."
9     I looked at Dad and nodded. I knew he was dead serious.

Paragraphs 10 to 18:
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