Twee' Art LLC, Vermont
POSTITIVE CHILDHOOD INFLUENCE - LIFELONG IMPACT
Susie E Caron (4/20/2020)
You may never know how you influenced a child's life, this side of heaven, but you may catch a peek.
I recently posted an old photo of me and my horse on FaceBook. My nephew who, as a youngster had lived nearby for only a few short years, responded in a comment. He wrote about enjoying family activities around our barn and in our home and his words touched me.
“I can’t thank you enough for the memories…….You really had a special home up there and helped instill some great values in me. Those really are some of my favorite childhood memories. Thank you so much.”
How kind of him to share this with me. I was happy to be part of his childhood. Now, knowing how much he enjoyed it and his memories I felt a special blessing.
Do you recall the first person who positively impacted your life?
In the summer after my third grade elementary school year, a family with 6 kids moved into our neighborhood. I regularly joined them to play tag and kick ball, stopping only briefly to drink lemonade together at their rough- hewn picnic table.
One swelteringly hot summer day they invited me inside for our drinks. Their home appeared different from ours. The tattered furniture and bare floors revealed they did not have much. However, they were kind to one another and laughed a lot. As I drank my lemonade from a plastic cup, the other kids pulled out some books to show me. Peering over my drink I noticed a full bookcase near the kitchen. On the top shelf a collection of big shiny new Encyclopedia Britannicas appeared. They eagerly pulled these out for me to see.
I didn’t know these books. I’d never seen an encyclopedia before. The shelves in our home held vases and nicknacks. The only books I read, besides school lesson books, were those packed into dusty shelves in each old school room. Our family read newspapers and magazines, but we didn’t have this many books.
Their Mother must have noticed how I hesitated to touch them because she approached me asking, “What would you like to know about? What interests you?” I had never been asked such a question nor had I thought about it. Thinking quickly, I recalled my favorite 3rd grade book about Dolphins, so I said, “I like Dolphins.” She opened the book and showed me how to use it to find information about Dolphins and anything else I wanted to know. She left me sitting cross-legged on the floor with the big book across my lap. I imagined how all knowledge was in my hands and could now flood my brain. Awestruck by the possibilities, I hoped I could stay all day.
The next summer the family moved away and I missed them, especially their Mother. It wasn’t until adulthood that I understood how she had impacted me and my life going forward.
That long ago summer day, she’d noticed me and asked about my interests. She valued books and shared them. She showed me how to look in them for answers. I felt trusted and special when she left me alone for a time to read. She demonstrated that she knew I could think, and I could ask questions and find answers and read for myself. Essential to my growth, she believed in me.
Obviously I’ve never forgotten her. What’s more? From that day on I looked for those persons who believed in me and encouraged me. I found them, one by one, and navigated life like someone moving successfully from stone to stone in a busy stream. Funny that only by looking back though the years am I able to recognize who positively impacted my life. I feel warm gratitude for their presence in my early life and I thank God for them now.
COMMENTS? Who positively influenced you in childhood? What did they do that meant so much to you? How has their influence impacted your life?
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Susie Caron, acrylic artist, creates realistic paintings of pets, animals, and selected scenes. Her love of and experience with many pets and farm animals throughout her life, enables her to capture the unique feeling and expression of each subject. In her commission pet and livestock portraits, Susie also works with each customer to discover and then reveal the personality and special bond between pet and human.
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