Spring is Back and So Am I

I haven’t posted in a while, and just realized the last time I did was this time last year, when I shared my #Springfling Kidlit writing contest entry. Funny enough, I am back here now to post this years’. Feels suiting. Spring really is the time of rebirth and renewal – the time to come out of hibernation and get on with living.

That analogy holds significant meaning for me. I’ve been a bit MIA from here with a super busy task – beating breast cancer. It’s been a very chaotic, anxious, and life changing year. But, just like the spring, I am back and blooming. I wish the same for all of you.

The story I wrote this year for Spring Fling Kidlit is inspired by my recent life-altering events, and dedicated to all the women I have rekindled with or recently befriended who have undergone similar experiences. Over the past several months, I connected with many parents and children who have been through cancer together. I have discussed with them what it does to families, and shared with them what it has done to ourselves. We have laughed together, worried together, wondered together, changed together, but most importantly- we FOUGHT together. I’ve witnessed children grow up too fast in the face of this disease, and adults forced too quickly into major decisions. One of the most hopeful things I’ve learned is that when the going gets tough, and just getting out of bed in the morning can be a challenge, it is the people around us that motivate us to soldier on. It is the children of these parents who give them reason to keep fighting, it is the friends and the families of these patients that continue to give them (us) hope. I am thankful to them, and proud of my fellow friends – and myself – who have chosen their course of action (sometimes that’s the most difficult part) and conquered the climb. You are the warriors, the heroes, the inspiration for humanity. May you come back every spring to bloom better than the one before. This story is inspired by all of you.

And now on to my contest entry…

Below are the guidelines for this years’ Spring Fling Kidlit contest, FYI. I hope this gets enough sunlight and water to bloom into the hearts that need it most.

A special thank you to our creators and donors -you can find them on Twitter:

@valerie_bolling @Anne_Appert @agenthenkin @andreadonall @DianaMWrites @dbhiguera @teresarobeson @MattForrestVW @viviankirkfield @sarafinadesign @loveleemonicaa @CiaraONeal2 @KaitlynLeann17

Spring Fling Rules

1. Your story should be geared towards kids ages 12 or under.

2. Choose a gif to inspire your story.

3. All gifs should be child appropriate and in no way be derogatory towards any faith, race, etc.

4. Now for the dreaded word count! You have 150 words. That’s it! No more but less is always welcome.

5. Your title is not included in the word count.

6. No illustration notes pretty please.

7. Your gif should be the only visual with your story.

8. The Spring Fling contest officially begins on Friday, April 1st.

9. From April 1st to April 3rd, post your gif and story on your blog. (If you have one.)


gif created by Author/Illustrator Marietta Apollonio


by Melissa Rutigliano

141 Words

Spring brings a different kind of Mother’s Day this year.

Mama stays in bed a little longer.

Mama lays her head a little lower.

Mama acts a little scared.

Mama’s hair is barely there.

So I bring Mama flowers,

read Mama my card,

fluff Mama’s pillow,

and help all I can.

Sometimes my help makes messes,

but it still makes Mama smile.

Mama hasn’t looked this happy in a while.

I wish every day was Mother’s Day

so Mama would always feel this way.

Seasons pass,

I grow one year,

and Mama’s here

when spring brings a different kind of Mother’s Day.

I pick Mama flowers,

read Mama my card,

share chocolate surprises,

and finally…

give Mama tight hugs again.     

“Mama?” I ask,

“What’s the greatest Mother’s Day gift you ever got?”

“YOU, my dear. You gave me reason to be here.”

Posted by mrutigliano, 1 comment