Red Coat

Julie came home from school and sat down at the kitchen table, watching her mother cook dinner. Julie and her mother had just moved into a new neighborhood and Julie was finding it a little hard to make new friends.

“Mommy,” said Julie. “How come I don’t have a red coat?”

“Well,” said Mommy. “Because when we went shopping you saw the blue coat and wanted it, remember?”

“Oh yeah,” said Julie. “I remember now.”

“How come you want a red coat?” asked Mommy.

“There is a girl at school that has one,” said Julie.

“Oh,” said Mommy. “I see.”

The next afternoon, Julie came home from school again and sat down at the kitchen table.

“Mommy,” said Julie. “I really want a red coat.”

“Julie,” said Mommy. “What is this with red coats? You said the same thing yesterday.”

“I told you,” said Julie. “A girl at school has one and I want one too.”

“But that isn’t a good reason,” said Mommy. “It sounds as if you want the red coat so you could be like the other girl.”

“Yeah,” said Julie. “I do want to be like the other girl.”

“Julie,” said Mommy, sitting down at the table. “You shouldn’t want to be like anyone else. You should just be yourself.”

“But if I am just myself,” said Julie. “How will I ever make friends?”

“You don’t need to be like anyone else to make friends,” said Mommy. “Just be yourself.”

“Are you sure?” asked Julie.

“Definitely,” said Mommy.

“How do you know for sure?” asked Julie.

“Because I was your age once,” said Mommy.

“Okay,” said Julie.

The next afternoon, Julie came home from school, smiling.

“What is the big smile all about?” asked Mommy.

“I made a friend today,” said Julie.

“Oh,” said Mommy. “That is great!”

“Yes,” said Julie. “And all I had to do was be myself.”

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