We kicked our summer off with a box of Pop Ice and a pack of $3 mini water guns. Oh what fun it’s been. My children commented the other day that they love being kids. That moment was another one of those infrequent, highly coveted “rewards” that make a mother feel so good. Who cares that to get it, I let them play in a red, dusty baseball field while I flew their kite? They didn’t care, because they were digging for treasure out there while I was having ups and downs that changed with the wind. It was awesome.
I’m going all out with the three of them when it comes to playing because I want them to experience the joy I had growing up. Without all the money to buy this or that and go here or there. So yesterday, they asked for silly music to just dance around the house. Then they took it to the next level and dressed up according to what type of music was playing. When the girls donned there ballerina outfits (which consisted of a body suit one of my friends bought and a $1 tutu I bought at Target) they wanted to know if I had one when I was a little girl. I told them no. And that we didn’t have lots of things. No Atari game system, no cable for most of the time, not many brandnamed clothes, etc. So they said, “You were poor?” I said yes and no. We didn’t need any of that extra stuff and most of the time didn’t even want it. On top of that we never missed any meals, played everyday, felt incredibly loved everyday and we would splurge on Easter and Christmas. We lived with our mother, grandmother and our grand Aunt. There were no disconnects of electricity or utilities. We rented for years and were never evicted. When we got our one winter coat, it was a Rothschild or something like that from a department store. The rest of the time we wore second hand and hand-me-down clothes. Our toys were ample. And according to my Aunt, too much of a mess. So yes we were poor but we were happy.
Really and truly children don’t need all that we think they do. I told my girls they have more than me and their dad had growing up, but we aren’t rich and don’t need to be. (In other words, stop begging for stuff cuz you ain’t getting it). I do say this in the store when they ask for things. “It’s not your birthday and it’s not Christmas, soooo…” Most of the time they just ask for whatever it is for their birthday because they know what I’m going to say. Summer is the only time they usually come out with a few more playthings because we won’t buy them until they can enjoy them outside. Anyhow, extra toys that get bumped by something new end up recycled, reduced or reused the next year. So they don’t get to have too much crap at one time. (And it’s still too much!) I think I need to do another clean sweep right now. Happy kids play with what they have and happy parents keep their money in their pockets. For the most part!