I had intended to write an anonymous guest blog for Johnny Utah while he was away, but after he mentioned the guest blogger was his Dad, I was flooded with a request to tell a story about him. So, here goes.
My unbiased opinion of Johnny is that he was one of the world’s greatest kids. However, partially as a result of my imperfect parenting, he did go through a period of spoiled behavior. His mother and I had a tendency to let him get a little something whenever we took him anywhere. Nothing much. Something like a piece of candy, or a small toy.
When it got to the point that he would throw a fit if we said no, we decided we would have to do something about it. So we began to cut back on the times we would let him get something when he was out with us running errands. We did not stop cold turkey, we just eased back.
One day Johnny’s mom took him with her on a trip to the hardware store/nursery. I have no memory whatever of what she needed to get, but she got it and went to the checkout stand. Johnny had asked for one thing after another while they had shopped, and his mom had said no each time.
In the rack of things the store displays at the checkout stand, hoping customers will see something at the last minute they need, Johnny found just such an item. Making a last ditch effort to get something, he asked if he could have it. His mom looked at it and then said no. He began to pout. He had the most pitiful look on his face. The kind of look that melts a loving parent’s heart. Tears began to well up.
Johnny’s mom took it from him and looked at it more closely, and asked, “do you know what this is?” He looked at her a little sheepishly, and said “what?”
It was a small package of “Jobe” plant food stakes. After she explained what it was for, he said “oh”. He was a little less disappointed about not getting it.
I am proud to say that Johnny grew into a man who never buys anything if he cannot tell what it is.