Friday, November 8, 2013

Confidence From a Friend

When I was about 14 my family moved to Missouri.  When we moved there I did not feel very confident in myself.  I had buck teeth, and never thought I was very pretty, or clever, or even particularly interesting.  The very best thing about that move, for me, was that my cousin Julie lived there.  I have always thought that she was SO talented, and beautiful, and fun!  My family got to stay at their house that first summer.  It was a big cousin party all summer long.  My Aunt and Uncle have 10 kids.  Most of them still lived at home, and there were five children in my family.  Our parents were probably all miserable, but it was very fun for me!

The miracle for me was that somehow, this cousin that I admired, liked me.  I mean, we are cousins, but cousins do not have to like you.  Julie and I had so much fun together!  We used a tape recorder and made up silly characters for "The Dating Game".  We laughed and laughed and were probably generally annoying to everyone older than us, but we were having too much fun to really notice. 

I tried things with her that I would usually not have done.  I tried riding a pony bare back, and was really not very successful.  I rode horses, and got kicked by one.  I swam in lakes, avoiding drowning because I'm really good at the back float.  I even got to go on vacation with their family to Kentucky Lake once.  Julie and I went to church dances, and youth activities together.  Always we talked, and laughed, and had a lot of fun.  She was a great friend.

A few years later, after my family moved away, I realized that because my fun, beautiful, smart cousin had been my friend,  I had more confidence that I could make friends, and that I was worth making friends with.  She did not become my friend to give me confidence, or even because she thought I needed it, and that is one of the reasons why her friendship made a lasting difference to me.  She seemed to like me just like I was.

Now Julie lives far away on the other side of the country with her family.  I have not seen or talked to her in a long time, but I still admire her for the good person that she is and the good things she does.  Mostly though, I am just thankful that, long ago, she chose to be my friend.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Hey CUZ really enjoyed your story. My Cousins are more like brothers and sisters to me.I think of you guys constantly and hope you're doing ok.I don't get to read your stories much lately cause I work 12 to 14 hours a day but keep em coming.Have you thought of putting these in a book?