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by Susan Kramer
The twins were looking forward to the annual carnival in their village square. Hans liked the booster cars best and Anneke's favorite ride was the tilt a'whirl. Ma and Pa went too, but watched the twins enjoy themselves from a respectable distance.
As they entered the carnival grounds Anneke remarked that they were lucky the sun was shining instead of having to traipse through puddles like the year before. She told Hans that looking forward to going on the rides put her in a positive mood. Hans said he felt the same way, in fact he felt more energetic.
The twins were often in the same activities and talked with each other afterward about how they felt when trying something new. Of course, being nine years old now, they thought they had a good idea of what was important in their lives, and how to get what they wanted.
Ma and Pa realized the twins liked to work out situations themselves, but they were always on hand to give backup support if needed.
Today there was already a crowd when the little family entered the carnival grounds. Ma liked to look around to see where the attractions were set up each year, as it varied. One reason is she liked to buy a family size bag of oliebollen (round doughnuts without the hole) to take home for dessert, so she had to scout out the deep fry stand. Pa especially liked to watch the dart players and sometimes played a bit.
Hans spotted the bumper car ride almost immediately and he and Anneke decided to each drive their own. After they bought their tickets and waited for the attendant to let out the current drivers, they climbed in their cars. When the ride started they paid attention to where they could safely steer around others. This took a bit of concentration, and sure enough, they were repeatedly bumped as they struggled to maneuver safely.
Hans tried to keep a positive attitude about being bumped so many times, but he finally lost his patience and hollered at another driver, telling him to watch where he was going.
Hans did not feel good about losing his temper, but he felt justified in hollering out of frustration for not being able to drive exactly along the path he wanted.
Later, at home, the twins were talking about the bumper car ride and Hans said he did not feel he should have hollered at another driver, even after being bumped into repeatedly. Hans now felt that he should have spent his energy trying to find a path to drive where he wouldn't get bumped so much, and that he realized that he couldn't get his way every time.
The twins agreed that it was worth choosing to be patient, even when provoked to get angry. They realized their whole body felt upset when they got angry. And that hollering at someone might cause lingering bad feelings.
The next day the carnival was still in town and the twins talked their parents into taking them again. They decided they would quietly put patience to the test if they felt like hollering at someone. And sure enough, with patience and a positive attitude Hans had a good experience on the bumper cars this time.
As time went on, the twins remembered to be patient in other ways, too. They found it felt better to keep a positive attitude while patiently working out problems at school, and on the playground.
Key words: patience; positive attitude.
children in this story live in my mind and heart.
The author, Susan Helene Kramer, has been teaching people of all ages and abilities meditation, yoga, and dance for more than 30 years.
and Hans went to school
Anneke and Hans Go to the Carnival
and photographs copyright © 2018 Susan Helene Kramer
Home Page http://www.susankramer.com
Dutch translation of other stories in the series