As the year 2016 comes to a close, I have a short holiday story to share with you.
As children during the 1950’s, my 4 brothers and 2 sisters and I loved to play Hide & Seek on rainy days in our one story tract home out in the suburbs of Louisville. We would each seek out the darkest, quietest, scariest spots and try to remain undiscovered by whomever of my many siblings was “IT”. My parents surely appreciated NOT having us underfoot or snacking in the kitchen.
Standing out in my memory was a day in early December that I decided to hide in my parent’s clothes closet. While not out-of-bounds to us, we were discouraged from using such “adult space” for our games.
As I slid against the closet wall behind some hanging clothes, I felt the barrel of a rifle. Inspection of it more closely in the dim light showed me that this was a new Daisy brand BB GUN with a genuine lever action to cock the spring, brown checkered plastic stock and real front and rear sights. How had my parents known that I wanted just such a weapon to keep me suitably armed as many other neighborhood boys my age were? Needless to say, I reset the gun on the wall, found another spot to hide and said nothing to anyone, lest they lay claim to my find.
As the days crept by to Christmas, I could hardly contain my excitement, imagining myself on safari in Africa, stalking big game and collecting trophy animals by the dozen. Oh the places that we’d explore together!
Well, you can imagine my disappointment on Christmas Day as a younger brother unwrapped MY BB Gun that Santa left him by mistake. I almost broke out in tears at being on the receiving end of such injustice. But already at 8 years old, I knew that whining, crying or complaining was poorly tolerated in our family.
Instead, that morning I received a brand new, table mounted, electric jig saw with which my Dad and I spent hours constructing a wooden model train railroad bridge for my older brother’s model train layout. That project helped start me towards my mechanical engineering degree.
The moral of this story is timeless… we are all faced from time to time with challenges (some not of our own making) that can tug on our emotions or push our HOT buttons or seem unfair. It’s how we react to those situations that show our level of maturity. My wish for you in the coming year is that you will have the maturity and resilience to make lemonade out of lemons.