Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just Like June

April Valentine was 5 years old. Her sister, June was 9. April adored her big sister. She wanted to be like her big sister in every way. She wanted to dress like June. She wanted to talk like June. She wanted to act like June. In fact, she copied her big sister so much that some people called her "little Junie".

One day, Daddy was working. Mommy, June and April went for a girls day out. First they went to the department store. Mommy was going to get each of them a new outfit. The first thing April saw was a pretty blue dress with flowers. June picked out a pair of jeans and a pink sweater. "Would you like that pretty dress?" Mommy asked April.

April shook her head. "No, thank you, mommy." she replied, "I want jeans and a sweater, please." but she didn't smile and she didn't look happy.

"Are you sure?" asked Mommy.

April nodded and picked out a pair of jeans and a pink sweater.  April frowned and bit her lip. She looked at the blue flowered dress again, but didn't say anything.

Next they went to get new shoes. April picked out a pair of Dora the Explorer sandals. June picked out a pair of plain white sandals. April put down the Dora sandals and picked up a pair of plain white sandals too. She knew June would never be caught dead in Dora sandals.  "Are you sure?" asked  Mommy. April nodded, but she still didn't look happy.

After they paid for their purchases, they went to McDonalds to get some lunch. McDonalds was April's favorite restaurant.  Chicken nuggets was her favorite food. "I don't like chicken nuggets anymore." announced June whose taste in food was always changing. "I want a chicken sandwich."

"And chicken nuggets for you, April?" asked Mommy.

April shook her head. "I'll have a chicken sandwich too." she replied even though she didn't like chicken on bread. When her lunch came, she barely picked at her sandwich. Afterward, her tummy was still so hungry that it hurt, but she didn't say anything.

At home later, April sat on her bed with her favorite stuffed bunny, Fluff. She was hungry and unhappy. Mommy came in and sat down beside her. "Come on sit on my lap. baby," she said. April climbed up on Mommy's lap and put her arms around Mommy's neck. She started to cry. "There, there, my sweetie pie." said Mommy gently patting her on the back. "Today was not such a good day for you, was it?" April lifted her tearstained face and shook her head. "You would have been happier with a pretty blue dress and Dora sandals." continued Mommy. April nodded miserably and a flood of fresh tears fell from her eyes. Mommy hugged her. "I'm glad you like your sister so much, but you don't need to be like her all the time" said Mommy "Be you. Do what makes you happy. Get what makes you happy. Eat what makes you happy. The world already has a June Valentine. So you be the best April Valentine that you can be."

April thought about it.  Maybe Mommy was right. After all, she really liked the blue dress and the Dora sandals. The clothes she had picked out to be like June were awful plain. Her tummy was still hurting too from not eating her lunch.

"We can exchange the sweater and jeans and  the white sandals for the blue dress and Dora sandals tomorrow if you'd like. " said Mommy as if she were reading April's mind.

April nodded and smiled. For the first time, that day she felt really happy. "Can I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?" she asked. "I'm really hungry." She knew June hated peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but she didn't care. From now on, she wanted to be just like herself and not like anybody else.

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