There are so many valuable lessons from my childhood, from Dad teaching me to be systematic and to listen to wise advice to following Mother about as she accomplished all her chores and her good deeds and yet she still found time for her creative pursuits.
But this one incident stands out and may be one of the most important. Its lessons have seen me through many circumstances which might otherwise have defeated my spirit or could even have made me sad and bitter.
I was 7 and had an accident which shattered my right leg which was in a huge cast. I was on our back porch watching my playmates across the alley, running, jumping rope, riding bikes , playing hide & seek, generally just having fun doing all the things I couldn't do. There I was, stranded and yelling at the top of my voice for them to come play with me, but of course, that was the very last thing any of them wanted to do, to abandon their active fun on a glorious warm day to play with a 'cripple' yelling at them! But I just kept yelling and feeling sorry for myself, not knowing what else to do.
Mother stepped out of the house to see what the matter was and quickly took in the situation. Then she suggested something that I've never forgotten all these years. She suggested that I get busy making something fun and interesting myself, and then maybe the kids would wonder what I was up to and might even come over to find out. If not, she assured me, I'd still be doing something fun and interesting, instead of yelling myself hoarse to no avail.
What a wise woman. I followed her suggestion and started a little project. I tore apart an empty wooden Kraft cheese box, and broke the sides into slats, which I fastened together with brads, then designed patterns on them with Crayolas to make a colorful snake! I was so busy finishing it, I barely notice that some of the kids had come over to see was so absorbing! They noticed & commented; & though they didn't linger long, it taught me to take responsibility for my own happiness, which can then be shared with others who are interested. I learned that I need never be lonely, stranded, bored or helpless.