Mrs. Franks' House


When I was about 5 years old I was at a neighbor’s house who opened her home to serves as a babysitter. There were always lots of kids of all ages at Mrs. Franks’ and it was a chaotic but happy, play-driven atmosphere. My mom had dropped me off after school while she ran some errands. I was sitting at the dining room table drawing a picture and coloring. There was one other boy coloring, too. I was very eager to have some recognition for my picture, as Mrs. Franks came into the room, and was contemplating asking for her to come look. But from either shyness or insecurity or divine intervention I did not say anything. The other little boy was jumping up and down saying “come look at what I did, come look at my picture,” and generally being a pest, demanding his due attention. Mrs. Franks finally looked at his picture, but said to him, “look at how nice and quiet and polite and patient Andrea is over there, and her picture is just as worth looking at as yours. You could learn something from her.”
It’s a powerful lesson I have never forgotten and has molded my approach in many things – recognition does not need to be demanded to be received, and is all the sweeter when it comes unbidden.