Kids Today Short Story
If The World Were Any Better
In this Kids Today Short Story, a mom has to manage her family in a wildly changing world. Sometimes we just have to figure things out for ourselves.
“You are so blessed brilliant; it makes my head ache.”
Two adorable brown eyes peered up at his mother. “Yeah?”
“Yep. And you know what happens to brilliant people?”
“They become CEOs and run the corporate world?”
Calvin tapped the keyboard and ran the cursor along the edge like a gymnast ready for his next acrobatic feat.
Not for the first time did Maura wonder why her husband chose the name Calvin for their only son. There couldn’t be two more polar opposites than her husband, Calvin I, the exact replica of the comic book Calvin who constantly dangled poor Hobbs over the edge of reality, and their son, Calvin II, a child whose precocious intelligence and unassailable good sense often knocked the wind out of both their sails. What parent dared to misbehave when they had a responsible eleven-year-old eyeing their every move with a cunning appraisal? They knew darn right well he’d tell Santa Claus. God, too, for that matter.
But really, she wondered, what on Earth would her little boy do with his good sense and brilliant intellect when he grew up. Who wants to run a major corporation and make a ton of money when every other mother’s son (or daughter) will elbow him aside in an effort to outdo him? Why invent cool stuff, when some evil despot will use his research to blow up the planet? Or discover the cure for cancer when an insane scientist will incubate a deadly virus in order to wipe out even more people in less time?
“Mom, quit that. Please?” Calvin huffed. He hated it when she sighed.
Maura hugged him like it was their last day on the planet and pointed to the door. “You’ve saved my computer from an early demise once again. Now get outside and save your cardiovascular system. Go run around in the fresh air.”
Dark thunderclouds swirled out the window and Calvin grinned. He liked storms. A snack called from the cookie jar, so he snatched three packed with raisins and chocolate chips and swung out the back door with all the pent up energy of a kid who has been released from mortal combat with a cyber monster.
Heaving another long sigh, Maura swiped crumbs off the counter, frowned at the jam drips she had missed at lunchtime, and bit her lip when her husband charged through the door with a huge grin on his face.
“Hey, Sweetie!” He jerked his thumb backward. “Calvin looks like he’s ready to do battle with a Greek god. He’s got that look on his face.”
Maura knocked the cookie bits into the garbage pail. Depression settled in; even a clean counter couldn’t soothe her spirit. “Greek, Roman…or New Age. He could battle them all. The boy ought to get some kind of reward for sparing my computer yet another breakdown.”
A puzzled frown spread over Calvin I’s forehead. “I’d think you’d be thrilled by our son’s intelligence and generosity. Isn’t this the third time he fixed your computer this month?”
Maura straightened and locked eyes with her husband. “He’s terrific. That’s the problem.”
No rest for the weary cookie jar. Calvin I fished around, and by mere good luck, pulled out the two largest and promptly began to chomp.
Maura poured a glass of milk and slid it across the counter.
The milk followed the cookies to their natural destination.
Calvin II’s voice pierced through the evening stillness as he raced a neighbor boy around the backyard.
“So, why do you want our son to be dumb and lazy?”
Maura turned from her husband and wrung the dishcloth with an extra firm twist. “I just wish he had a better world upon which to bestow his brilliance and goodwill.”
“Huh.” Calvin I stretched out his arm. Soon the cookie jar would show its bottom. A sad fate for any worthy container.
Calvin I drained the last dribbles from his glass and popped the final cookie bit into his mouth. He spoke around a chew. “Seems to me that if the world were any better, it wouldn’t need our Calvin so much.”
With that thought, Maura’s husband leaned over, pecked her cheek with a brief kiss, peered into her eyes a lingering moment, and grinned again.
A reflecting grin forced its way over Maura’s face, accompanied by a slight eye roll.
By the time Calvin II swung back into the warm house, night and a bit of rain had fallen. A roast chicken with sides of mashed potatoes, carrots, and a Greek salad sat side by side proudly on the table.
Maura leaned against the counter and watched as her son sloshed water across the counter in his efforts to wash his hands before supper.
Calvin II turned and dropped the defeated drying towel on the back of his dad’s chair. “You know, Jensen said that his mom paid a tech guy three hundred dollars to fix her computer.”
Maura plunked sliced bread on a cutting board and set it beside the chicken. “Sad reality that not everyone has a kid like you, hon.”
Calvin II shrugged. “Not really. I already told her that her computer isn’t worth saving—too out of date. But she didn’t believe me.” He peered at his mom. “You know…sometimes people just have to figure things out for themselves.”
Maura nodded. Yep. She knew.
A. K. Frailey is the author of 17 books, a teacher for 35 years, and a homeschooling mother of 8.
Make the most of life’s journey.
For novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction inspirational books, check out
A. K. Frailey’s Amazon Author Page
“The collection creates an evocative set of life scenarios that explore good intentions, real-world situations, and acts of quiet love, desperation, and redemption.” ~California Bookwatch
“a masterful grouping of short stories reflecting on life, death, and everything in between.” ~Gina
“When I found out she had a new collection out, this volume, I grabbed it immediately and started reading it that day.” ~Steven
For a complete list of books by A. K. Frailey, book trailers, and reviews, check out
For translated versions of A. K. Frailey’s Books, check out
A. K. Frailey’s Translated Books
hi and I just read your post and I like it.
On Thu, Sep 12, 2019, 8:08 PM The Writings of A. K. Frailey wrote:
> annkfrailey posted: ” “You are so blessed brilliant; it makes my head > ache.” Two adorable brown eyes peered up at his mother. “Yeah?” “Yep. And > you know what happens to brilliant people?” “They become CEOs and run the > corporate world?” Maura sighed. Calvin t” >
Comments are closed.