Learning to cope when things don’t go your way
When Harmony was a baby, her parents believed they had chosen the perfect name for her. Harmony was always smiling and giggling, finding each new discovery, each new experience, a delight.
However, when Harmony reached the age of six, things changed.
“I hate school!” Harmony shouted at her mother one day. “It’s too long and too hard!”
Harmony’s mother offered her cold milk and cookies, which soothed her tired daughter, for a while.
After her snack, Harmony went upstairs to do her homework.
“I can’t do it! I’m too dumb!” Harmony hollered from upstairs. Her mother helped her with her homework. Her mother’s help calmed Harmony’s frustrations, for a while.
The next day, Harmony got off the bus with tears in her eyes.
“Emily’s not my friend anymore,” she sobbed, “she hates me!”
Harmony’s mother hugged her tight and spoke of misunderstandings and forgiveness, and all was better, for a while.
The next day, Harmony’s mother had a doctor’s appointment. Harmony’s neighbor, grumpy old Mrs. Jones, was there to greet Harmony at the bus stop after school. Harmony had had another horrible day and now it was even worse without her mother to help her calm down. She fled past Mrs. Jones, stormed into the house and into her bedroom and slammed the door shut.
Now what do I do? Harmony thought. She wanted to scream. She wanted to cry. Instead, she calmly walked downstairs. Mrs. Jones was sitting at the kitchen table with a steaming cup of tea.
“I find that a hot cup of tea is the perfect thing after a long, hard day,” Mrs. Jones said.
“It’s milk and cookies that help me,” replied Harmony.
“Then milk and cookies it is,” said Mrs. Jones as she stood and headed for the cookie jar.
Later, while trying to figure out an especially hard homework sheet, Harmony almost threw her pencil across the room. Instead, she called to Mrs. Jones.
“Mrs. Jones, could you please help me with my homework?”
“Certainly,” said Mrs. Jones as she entered Harmony’s room. She’s not as grumpy as I thought, Harmony realized.
That evening, when Harmony’s mother came home very late, she tossed her purse on the floor and let out a frustrated sigh.
“Traffic was awful, my feet are killing me, and I’m starving!”
“What you need is a hug, and then some milk and cookies,” Harmony chimed as she raced into her mother’s outstretched arms.
“You’re right, a hug is just what I needed. But, instead of milk and cookies, it’s a warm, toasted bagel with honey on top that helps me.”
“Then a bagel it is!” giggled Harmony.
And all was peaceful, for a while.