Sunday, October 11, 2009

Long Shadows

I'm taking a break from Shadow Shot Sunday because of long shadows -- lengthening Autumn shadows on the lawn from a late afternoon sun, and a sadness creeping over me from a childhood memory.

The memory isn't of an actual event from my childhood. Rather, it's from a general sense of how things changed as I transitioned gradually from a blithe little elementary school boy to a cynical teenager. The thing that awoke this memory was a sheet of paper.

The sheet of paper was on my daughter's desk. It was a printed worksheet titled "Giving a Compliment." It had the handwriting of seven children -- that of my daughter and six of her classmates from the previous grade. Apparently the paper was part of an exercise in which six children compliment a seventh child by writing positive comments on the sheet. It affected her enough to compel her to save it. Seeing the paper made me think that she was trying to cheer herself up, staving off the same moodiness that enveloped me at her age.

Here are the comments that the children wrote:
  1. Nathan: You are good at helping people since you are tall.
  2. Rebeca: She is nice, caring and good at help [sic] Edit your paper.
  3. Jessica: You are considerate and gentle to others all the time!
  4. Sofie: You are really nice and would never say anything bad about anyone!
  5. Ryan: You are nice and never get in trouble.
  6. UN: You are really thoughtful.
The worksheet concluded with one last fill-in, beginning with the printed text, "One compliment I could give myself is that I," I am good at art!

Today, the sheet of paper is in the top left drawer of her desk, right on top, easily accessible for a quick fix.

I still have this sadness. What compliments can I give myself? "One compliment I could give myself is that I" I am a loving father!

Do you need a compliment? Now it's your turn: "One compliment I could give myself is that I" __________________________________


Hey Harriet said...

I'm a bit stumped as to what compliment to give myself. I'm not great at complimenting myself. Hey a loving father is a great thing to be :)

Rummuser said...

I have just uploaded my latest post with the greatest compliment I can give myself!

cardiogirl said...

Like Harriet I had a hard time with this. But I did come up with something:

I know how to rock a pair of Converse low tops.

Jazzbumpa said...

The compliment you gave yourself is a good one. No matter how many other responsibilities you have, fatherhood is the most important.

IMHO, of course.

The complement I give myself all the time is that I am an excellent grandfather.

The complement exercise is right out of Dale Carnegie. There, it's verbal, face to face in a small group. I've done it about 15 times. Odd thing is that it is very easy for most adults to give complements, and very uncomfortable to be on the receiving end.

Don't know how it works for kids.

JzB the complimentary trombonist