You stayed the night with your Bwama and your cousins while the rest of the family went out to the St. Agnes Men's Club Bull and Oyster Roast. When I came to pick you up, surprisingly you were still awake. You inquired about our party and I inquired about yours. You informed me, with a tear in your eye threatening to dampen your Scooby Doo pajamas, that you had a crying spell because no one would play with you.
Normally, you and your cousins get along fairly well. Occasionally, you have the potential to end up as that clingy annoying little cousin, whether you deserve that definition or not. It all depends on your mood and your cousins' mood and probably a million different micro factors that I am just not privy to. I guess tonight was one of those nights. So I told you my secret remedy for when you feel excluded. I told you the next time it happens to ask your Bwama for a book to read.
There are going to be times, no matter how old you are, that you will be, or will feel, left out. It happens. It may or may not be intentional, but either way it stings. I found the best way to combat this feeling is to find something else to do. If you were intentionally left out for spite, nothing irks them like you not getting upset about it and just finding your own thing to do. And if that thing is a book...you can be a captain seeking revenge on a ferocious white whale; you can be a brave knight saving a fair maiden; you can walk through a closet to a land of talking lions; you can learn how to trick people into doing your bidding or at least whitewashing a fence for you like another Tom I know; you can be a world traveller that spends one day of eighty for every three or four pages circumnavigating the globe; you can be just about anything you want to be at that moment and lose yourself in an imagination far away from any feelings of alienation. Or at the least you become a little bit smarter and better yourself for reading while you feel left out. Turn the situation around and choose a new outcome. If you can learn this early and practice this throughout your life, you will develop a sense of confidence and self reliance that will draw most everyone to want to join you in whatever you do. Then you will only have to remember to try and include everyone else because you once knew how it felt to be left out.
Sincerely with love from your dad,