Chapter 8 of ? (baby?!)

[edit note: prepare photo of a shorthand note before publishing]

It’s early, but I’m awake just laying here thinking about important decisions I have to make this school year. Heather is coming in to see if I’m awake. I open my eyes as she sits on the edge of the big bed trying to not wake up the youngest boys on the other side.

“Jane, you’re not going to believe this,” whispered Heather. “Mama’s gonna have a baby!”

“Oh, come off it, where’d you hear that?” That was the last thing I wanted to hear. “I’ll never get out of here now.”

“What do you mean, where’re you going?”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean it that way. No place right now – don’t worry.”

I want to make sure she understands. “I’m taking typing and shorthand this year so I can get a good job when I graduate. Next year they’re offering a class on introduction to business.”

Heather wrinkles her nose, “What’s that?”

“Don’t play dumb with me; you know what a typewriter is.”

“Well, yes I do!” Heather is cute and matter of fact about everything. “They have one at church. I still don’t know what shorthand is.”

“Well, Little One, it is a secret writing code that few people can read. It’s pretty too – you can hide the code in drawings and paintings, and use it for a lot of stuff.” She’s two years younger, but I can’t resist using terms to remind her I’m the oldest kid. Gotta earn my birthright, right? Kids need order and consistency.

Heather thought about it for a second, “Well, I’m not sure Mom would like the idea about you keeping secrets.”

“Go get a piece of paper and a pencil, I’ll show you.” When she brought back a page from her notebook, I wrote the message in Gregg Shorthand, “Boys are cute, but God loves you.”

“Now you keep that in your pocket. When you find someone that can read it, tell me who they are.”

“What does it mean – what does it say?”

“It’s a secret – can’t tell you.”


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