The need for praise.

The need for praise.

I was shy when I was young.

I remember the feeling I would get when called out.

I was very quiet. 

I didn’t have to be taught stranger danger!

 

I was also considered oddly well behaved.

I knew that on some level.

I also worked hard at being seen as well behaved.

I liked to impress adults. 

 

We were at a family friends house.

There was a huge crowd.

The adults ate at one table, the children at another.

I believe it was dining room and kitchen respectively.

We could see each other as the room was only divided by a half wall.

 

With the adults well distracted,

The kids took off to the recroom when they finished eating.

I decided to take this opportunity to make an impression.

I remained at the table...alone.

None of the kids gave a crap about my need to impress.

They left me there. 

 

And there I sat.

I waited and waited.  

I probably sat there for twenty minutes...alone. 

I was really starting to regret my decision.

I could feel the embarrassment building.

This is not how I wanted it to go.

 

They finally, recognized the lone child.

I heard someone cue my Mom. 

She asked me what I was waiting for?

Inside, I was seething. 

Waiting for? 

I am being well mannered MOTHER!

I am not interrupting the adults.

I am not leaving the table without being excused.

Waiting for? 

You! 

I could feel the tears starting at the back of my eyes.

 

I didn’t say any of that of course.

I thought I was going to start crying.

No! That would be bad.

‘May I be excused?’

Of course, Mom said. 

I got up to leave the table.

Mom knew me better than I knew myself.

She called my name.

When I turned to her, she said, ‘thank you’.

 

She gave me back my dignity.

I could hear the other adults as I went down the stairs.

Is she always so polite?

Ah, she is so sweet?

You should be very proud.  Great manners. 

 

I was absolutely full of myself as I entered the recroom.

I was glad I sacrificed my time. 

None of other kids cared one way or the other. 

I knew Mom was proud of me. 

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