John’s First Love is Thwarted
In Cedar City we lived next door to my first “girl friend,” I believe her name was Judy Jones. She was the most popular girl in my third grade class and I was “in love.” I was elected as class monitor and one of my duties involved dismissing the class, row-by-row, at the end of the day. The quietest row was allowed to go first. Judy came up to me during recess and told me that it was important that I excuse her row first that day because she was preparing for a party right after school and had to get home quickly. (Her row was consistently the noisiest and she knew that I was intending to excuse her last.)
To give incentive to her proposal she offered a deal, “If you excuse my row first, you can come to my party.” So, can you guess what I did? I never have been one to refuse a good deal and that day I excused her row first despite the fact that they were particularly noisy.
I ran directly home from school to get ready for the party! About 4:30 I walked over to their backyard and found a dozen kids there and one of them came up to me and asked quite matter of factly, “What are you doing here?”
I was happy to declare that Judy had invited me but I watched with trepidation as he ran over to whisper something to Judy. My anxiety was justified and my heart sank as she walked defiantly to where I was and said, “I never invited you. Why don’t you just go home!”
I was devastated! I ran home and went to my room and started to cry. Dad had just come home and, seeing that I was distraught, he came directly to my room. When I explained the problem to him he responded with great encouragement telling me that I was special and that he and Mom loved me. I could see that this was all that mattered. While I cannot recall the exact counsel that Dad offered that afternoon, I do remember feeling good about myself and that I was a special person.
Now as an adult, I can appreciate the many times that Mom and Dad built positive self-esteem in each of us. As we look at the success of each of us in our own lives and careers, a lot of it comes from the confidence and positive self-esteem that was built into each of us during our early childhood. Thanks Mom and Dad, we all appreciate that!