John’s Birthday

Because today is a special day, sending birthday wishes simply won’t do,

So I’m sending you a day when all of your dreams come true,

And a year that means the most to you!*

My mother gave me a gentle directive, “You will go and you will enjoy it.”  I was six.  John was in my class.  He’d invited all Miss McDonald’s first grade students to his birthday party. John was kind of poor. He was the poorest of the poor, because I went to a school in a lower socioeconomic area.

I was a shy little girl and really didn’t want to go.  He was a boy after all.  And I didn’t know him very well.  But, following my mother’s instructions, I selected a box of color forms for him, because it was something that I would have liked. 

Color forms are still around.  They are rubbery “paper doll” kind of things on a black card board backing.  In the box is a shiny picture on another piece of cardboard.  One peels the color form from the black background and places it on the picture. It sticks, but can easily be peeled off.  If it were the “paper doll” you chose, then you might put a hat on him or some boots, or put an umbrella in his hand. I’ve always loved color forms.

My dad dropped me off at John’s house and came in with me to meet his mother.  I think he told her that I was a little shy and hesitant about being there.  She surely was nice to me.  She was a big woman with a big personality too.  She made certain that I was comfortable.

As it turned out, I was the only one in our class of 20 or so children who came to John’s party.  There was John, me, and two or three of his cousins.  We played a lot of games, and I won a lot of prizes since there were so few of us there.

I remember having an absolutely great time at the party.  My mother was so right to make me go.  I remember, even at six, feeling very happy that I had gone.  I remember thinking, “what if I had not come?”  If I hadn’t, no one from John’s class would be there.  I knew then how sad that would have been, and possibly how hurt John might have been.

When my dad picked me up, his mother thanked him for bringing me to the party, and told him how much it meant to them that I had come.

I wonder if John ever thinks about that party?  I know that for me, it was a very significant moment in my development as a person.  I thank God that I had parents who made me do the “right” thing.

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35, KJV)




3 thoughts on “John’s Birthday

  1. As the former “odd” kid in the class, I am now grateful for each parent who sent their reluctant kids to my parties. I hope they do the same.


  2. Awwww. I hope you weren’t hurt as a child by it. But I know that children do sense it when they are the odd one out. They certainly know when they are the last one chosen for the team. Thanks for reading!


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