Finally! I waited so long for this day! It was National Children’s Day in Thailand. I LOVE playing with the children. They have been in school, so I haven’t had a chance to see them much. They leave for school early in the morning before monkeys even wake up. They are gone until almost 5 o’clock at night because they travel so far to school.
But on Children’s Day I would get to spend ALL day doing fun things with them. Everything is free for kids on Children’s Day. We were going to an air show at the airport, and then to the zoo, and then to the play area at the Central Festival Mall.
I climbed all over the truck and jumped up and down on the roof of the cab — I was so excited. “When will the kids come?” I asked Grandma again.
She laughed. “Linkee, I told you about five times already that they will be here soon. Settle down!”
But I didn’t feel like settling down. I wanted to start having fun NOW. I looked down the lane to see if the kids were coming yet. You know what I saw? The BIG kids. Not my friends Supucket and Arlong and Mai and Nah Say and the rest.
“It looks like the big boys are coming with us today,” Grandpa said. “The little kids must be riding in Brother Anond’s truck.”
What! I like the big boys okay, but they don’t play with me. The even act embarrassed if Grandma takes my picture with them. I wanted my FRIENDS! I sulked all the way to the air show, but at least I would get to hang out with them once we got there.
Wow! I never saw so many people! Everyone in Thailand must have been at the air show. We saw lots of children, but we couldn’t find our kids. Brother Anond must have left at a different time, because we couldn’t find his truck.
“Maybe they are at McDonald’s,” I said. We looked, but didn’t see them. We only saw this statue of Ronald McDonald. “Look, he is praying!” I said with surprise. “No,” Grandma said, “That is the sa-wa-dii. The do that in Thailand when they say ‘hello’ to show respect.” No one ever did that to me, but I guess people don’t usually show respect to monkeys.
We walked for miles and saw lots of airplanes, but we never did find my friends. By now I was in a bad mood. I looked forward to this day for so long, and now a big part of it was wasted. I didn’t even want to look at the airplanes. We piled back into the truck and went to the zoo.
“Don’t worry, Linkee,” Grandma said. “I’m sure we will see the kids there.”
But we didn’t! The zoo was so crowded, that we never did find them. I met a lemur.
“I’ve never seen an animal like you,” he said.
“Well, you never shopped in the gift shop then, because there were lots of animals like me there,” I said.
“No,” he said. “I’ve never been in a gift shop.”
“That’s because they don’t let animals like you in,” I said. “Nah, n-a-a-h.”
“Linkee, you aren’t being kind!” Grandma told me. I didn’t care. I didn’t want to be kind. I felt mean because my special day was turning out to be so disappointing.
We didn’t see the kids, but we saw an ostrich. Grandpa lifted me up so I could see it better.
“What is that thing?” it asked. “Is it something to eat?” “Grandpa, I think we better go,” I said.
We saw an elephant.
It was big but friendly. I didn’t want an elephant friend, though. I wanted my children friends. I wouldn’t talk to him.
I saw a real Gibbon monkey like me.
I wouldn’t talk to him, either.
We saw this funny place.
“I wonder what kinds of things they make from animal poo?” Grandpa said.
“I wonder who would want something made from animal poo!” Grandma said.
I was so upset, I didn’t even smile and beg to go see what was in the poo gift shop.
We walked and walked, and looked at crowds of children until our eyes ached, but we never did find our kids.
Surely we would find them at the Central Festival play area. It has games and things to climb on and things to bounce on. It is a fun place for a monkey. Kids, too.
Then the worst thing happened! The big boys didn’t want to go. “Mai mii baht,” Wichi said. The others nodded.
“What did he say?” I asked Grandma. “The boys don’t have money,” she said. “They are too big for the play place and the mall isn’t fun without money.”
“Well, give them some money then and let’s go,” I said. Grownups sometimes don’t think of the obvious answer to problems.
“We already gave them the cash we had with us,” she said. “And the mall is expensive. It would take a lot of baht for them all to buy even something small.” Can you believe it? We went home! My special day was such a disappointment that I cried. Loudly.
Grandma held me and patted me on the back. She spoke kindly, but firmly to me. “Linkee, I’m sorry you were disappointed. Some days are like that. You will have many days in your life that will not be like you planned. You can choose to be happy with what you have instead of what you expected, or you can choose to be miserable and to make everyone else miserable. I think if you hadn’t been thinking of what you DIDN’T have today, you would have enjoyed being with the big boys and seeing the airplanes. You would have made new friends with the animals at the zoo. Grandpa and I would have had lots more fun with a happy monkey instead of an angry whining one, too.”
I thought about that. If I wasn’t mad about missing my friends, I probably would have been climbing all over those airplanes. And I never got that close to live animals before. I could have had new friends. Grandpa and Grandma looked very tired. I felt bad that I had given them a hard day.
“I’m sorry,” I said. I gave Grandma a hug. “I wish I had enjoyed the airplane show and the zoo instead of pouting.”
“That’s okay, Linkee,” she said. “And you have tomorrow. You never know what fun thing will happen tomorrow.”
And she was right! The girls came over to wash their hair. There are pesky little bugs here that keep on getting in their hair. Grandma washes it for them with special shampoo and puts funny hats on them. They played with me and put a hat on me, too. We had lots of fun. Little Gracie stayed all afternoon and played with me. She gave me lots of hugs. What a good day!
I’ll try to remember when I have a disappointing day to look for things to enjoy anyway. And I’ll wait to see if tomorrow is a better day!
Do you ever have disappointing days like Linkee did? There will be days like that! But we know that God is in charge of all the things that happen to us. They might not be what WE expect, but they are what He planned. We can either be mad and sad, or we can choose to be happy with what He gives us. Did you know that — that you can choose to be happy or sad? If you take the day God gives you, and choose to be content with it, you will have lots more fun And you never know the wonderful things God has for you. It might be tomorrow!
I love you — and miss you s-o-o-o much!