Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Tin Can Love
Recently I have felt overwhelmed by the amount of STUFF we have. It was right after visiting grandparents and our son walking away with a car boot full of more STUFF for his birthday. I came home and the pervasive felling I felt was anger. Why?
Anger, that we are so lucky to have folks that give our children gifts? No. Anger because, he is so loved they get him lots of presents? No? And it finally dawned on me. This is not how I envisioned raising my children. I truly imagined a world, where they might get one or two toys at a holiday. A world where they valued what they had. A world that wasn’t disposable. And I realized, I had to makes some changes, starting with me.
First, I had to lead the way, by getting rid of the stuff just sitting in boxes. I love you, so and so, but you were not your things. I want to leave us with only the things in the house that we love. That matter to us. I wanted to show them that “stuff “ doesn’t matter, but special things do. Two, I wanted to stop with the presents. Not entirely, but limit it to 1 special gift from the grandparents and that be it.
Why? I know you are asking… Someone once asked why I was strict on the sugar the kids had. I said because, you don’t love kids with food. What I meant was, if Tristan was heartbroken a cookie was not how I wanted him to learn how to resolve that hurt. I am beginning to learn that translates out to other things. I don’t want my children loved with “things.” I want them loved with love. Acts of love, shows of love and special moments.
But that is just me, and I am just one member of this family and often I don’t know how on board my family is with my brilliance (joke). So this mother’s day when Joel’s gift to me was a card he had made himself and nothing else I was encouraged (and thrilled, it was wonderful). However, for my birthday my mom took the kids for the day. When they came home they were carrying flowers they had picked from her yard, in tin cans. They were so proud and the flowers were so beautiful. And these are the gifts that matter. The ones that truly are gifts of us. Gifts of our effort, our talent and our love. And they give to the giver and the receiver. And they, are the one worth giving or remembering.
So keep your trinkets and baubles, I will keep my tin can love.