My dad’s side of the family lives in Tennessee, and one of the most exciting holidays for me as a child was Thanksgiving because my immediate family got to drive down to Tennessee and stay in my grandparents’ house for about a week. I especially loved going to Tennessee because I got to spend time with my cousin, who was the same age as me.

My grandparents had a large, screened in front porch with tin signs that covered the walls and kid-sized patio furniture, some metal cabinets that I still don’t know the contents of, and some games. I remember being very young, probably 5 or 6, and playing with the checkers. I obviously had no idea how to play checkers, so I was just stacking them on top of each other, lining up the ridges, putting them in patterns while my cousin was doing something else. While I was playing, my mom announced that we were going to the store and that I could finish playing after.

We went to the store and came back ,and I ran back to the checkers to pick up where I had left off. However, my cousin was playing with the checkers in same way I had been. Instead of finding something else to do, I shoved her out of the way so I could play with my checkers again. She cried and ran to her parents while my mom had to explain to me that I was in the wrong.

I remember being very frustrated that nobody understood my reasoning: I really thought that I was in the clear because I had been playing with the checkers before. My mom had to take me aside and talk to me after I refused to apologize. After a long talk, my mom was able to explain that my cousin did nothing wrong. She explained that the checkers were not mine, even if they were  mine I had to share them, and that even if I didn’t have to share, I still wasn’t allowed to push. She told me to think about how I would feel if the situation was reversed and reminded me that I wouldn’t like being pushed down. Eventually, I agreed with my mom, realized that what I did was mean, and apologized.

Advertisements