“Lots to Like,” Friend, Jan. 2016, 4–5
Colton slouched in a chair at the kitchen table. His arms were folded together tight, his mouth turned down in a frown.
“What’s the matter?” Mom asked.
Colton just frowned harder. The only sound was the ticking of the clock. He sighed. “Nothing.”
“Well,” Mom said, “if that nothing turns into something, let me know.”
Colton sighed again. “I’m just mad at myself.”
“Mad at yourself?”
Colton nodded. “Yeah. And I’m not going to look at myself in the mirror for a whole week, maybe two.” He pulled a little green car from his pocket.
“I ruined the car Dad gave me—the one he played with when he was little. It was on the floor, and I stepped on it. Now it’s all broken. It was so … dumb!”
Mom sat down next to Colton and reached for the broken car. “I’m so sorry. I know how much you loved this car. But you didn’t do it on purpose. It’s not your fault. It’s not anyone’s fault.”
“Well, I think it’s somebody’s fault—mine!” He held up a wheel that had fallen off his car. “I shouldn’t have left it on the floor! And I’m not going to get over it until I’m ready. And maybe not even then.”
“That’s a long time to stay mad at yourself,” Mom said. She thought for a minute, then stood up to grab a pencil and notepad from a drawer. She set them on the table. “Let’s make a list of things you like about yourself. I’ll write for you.”
“Do I have to?” Colton asked.
Mom nodded and tapped the notepad. Colton stared at the paper.
“Well,” he finally said, “I do take really good care of my frog.”
“Perfect. That’s one,” Mom started to write. “What else?”
Finally Mom and Colton had a whole list of good things about Colton. He smiled as Mom read the list out loud.
He’s kind to animals and takes good care of his frog, Jumpy.
He always talks with his grandpa when we visit him at the nursing home.
He tries to choose the right every day, even when it’s hard.
When he gets money, he saves some of it in his red elephant missionary bank, and he always pays his tithing.
He tries hard to keep his room clean without being asked.
He doesn’t always complain about having to eat green beans at dinner.
He doesn’t tease his little sister. Much.
“Can I go out and play now, Mom?” Colton asked when they were done reading the list.
Mom nodded. “Who are you going to go play with?”
Colton grinned. “With me. I kind of like me again.”
“I kind of like you too. Kind of a lot. And you know what, Heavenly Father and Jesus love you too!”
Colton hugged her. “Maybe next time I get mad at me, I’ll make another list. I can think of a bunch more things I like about myself.”