Tuesday, April 22, 2014

1791 to 1800

1791. Your help, every hour.
1792. Your name, precious from the lips of my children.
1793. Food - enough, and yes, more than enough.
1794. Friends and chats and nice visits.
1795. Books.
1796. Paper and glue.
1797. Coffee.
1798. Sam asking Patrick to whistle, and staring with disappointment & confusion at the result (ooh - he meant wrestle).
1799. Having my mama on speed dial.
1800. Stillness.

Abundance and Lack

There's a link to a collection of pictures that I've seen tumbling around on Facebook lately - kids and their bedrooms from around the world.  It's a really fascinating peek into different cultures and every picture tells a silent story about the value those cultures place on possessions, comfort, children and their place in the family, wealth, and individualism.

I was a little disturbed by the commentary (not provided by the photographer), that said (my paraphrase) those of us who had more should try to provide the same opportunities that we had to children who are being raised without.

Why would I find that disturbing?

I'm disturbed by the cultural arrogance of assuming that children who aren't raised with material abundance are somehow lacking something.
And I get it, how someone from our culture would think that - and would think they're being philanthropic, even, for their desire to see others raised in similar circumstances.  But we forget that every person looks at life through their own cultural goggles.  And our culture worships the concept of more - we scorn the idea of enough.

In our culture of material abundance, where children are showered with more toys and lessons and more clothes than necessary, we look with pity and fear at a childhood of scarcity and family-supporting labour.  We pity children who share bedrooms and sleeping space with siblings and parents.  We carry around the gluttonous idea that children should be given everything, the more everything the better.  But there are cultures (certainly no less valid, though strange to western understanding) where the goal is not personal abundance.  Children are raised to contribute early to the family's well-being, and are seen as producers, not (solely) consumers, long before they reach adulthood. I think that must be a much healthier state of soul than being raised on excess.

I'm not disagreeing with the idea of helping those in need - I love and celebrate generosity!  But sometimes I think we have it backwards ... that we're the ones in need.  We need to grow up as contributors - not greedy recipients.  We need to grow up knowing the relationship between labour and earnings.  We need to know the joy of being needed and useful and the value of working as part of a family.

We're a lot poorer than we think - no matter how comfortable our bedrooms, or how filled with stuff they are - if we measure the value of a childhood by the number of toys our children have.

Monday, April 21, 2014

1781 to 1790

1781. Vava enthusiastically throwing kisses at seagulls.
1782. Sam giggling as he told me that he put orange juice in Vava's hair.
1783. Taking the kids to Chapters for a playdate.
1784. Maple macchiato.
1785. Vava's snuggles.
1786. Sam's selfies.
1787. Patrick cleaning while I napped.
1788. Sam kissing me awake.
1789. The look of utter need in Vava's eyes when she saw Zebra after an afternoon of laundry-separation.
1790. Easter presents for the kids from their grandparents.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

1771 to 1780

1771. Sleeping in while Patrick manned the kids.
1772. Cuddling in bed with Vava.
1773. Getting tons of kisses.
1774. Going for a drive and sharing timbits.
1775. Finding the frosted-glass window cling I was searching for.
1776. Finding pretty curtain ties and making our dining room bright.
1777. Napping long this afternoon.
1778. Grocery shopping with the kids.
1779. Sam asking God for more kids to come to playland, and they did.
1780. Working in the kitchen with my One True Love.

Friday, April 18, 2014

1761 to 1770

1761. Snuggly couchy morning.
1762. Cake for breakfast. It's Good Friday ... :) can't think of a better reason to rejoice.
1763. Remembering our Saviour's sacrifice.
1764. Napping all afternoon.
1765. Maternity pants.
1766. Company for supper.
1767. Sam and Vava ♥.
1768. Surprise note on the fridge.
1769. Cleaned kitchen!!
1770. Four-day weekend ... ahhh.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

1751 to 1760

1751. A nice visit with Diane.
1752. Chatting with my sister.
1753. A morning with Sam while Vava slept in.
1754. Playgroup.
1755. A nice grocery trip with the kids.
1756. Quiet afternoon, lots of time to read.
1757. Patrick coming home for a 4-day weekend.
1758. Taking the kids out to play together.
1759. Sam being gracious when another kid was mean.
1760. A goodbye visit from Micah.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

1741 to 1750

1741. The kids wearing Patrick's hats because they missed him.
1742. Backyard full of smiling kids.
1743. Friend's generosity; a new baby seat & stroller.
1744. Hot tea after a chill.
1745. Cream cheese sugar-cookie squares.
1746. Vava bringing me my earrings, saying "ee-wing, get on!"
1747. Patrick cleaning up while I rested.
1748. Clean and fragrant kids after a much-needed bath.
1749. Reading friends' poetry.
1750. A warm blanket my mom made: the best kind of long-distance hug.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

1731 to 1740

1731. Taking the kids for a walk in the sunshine.
1732. Girl Guide cookies.
1733. Chatting with my heart-sister.
1734. Going to the dentist ... more than an hour of relaxing alone while Patrick manned the kids. :)
1735. Coming home to excited kids waving from the window.
1736. Friends playing with the kids after supper.
1737. Vava pretending to be asleep, then shouting "up!"
1738. Patrick going to the store and buying Hawkins for me.
1739. Having all the housework done early.
1740. A hot shower.

Monday, April 14, 2014

1721 to 1730

1721. Kids being kind to each other after a cranky start to the day.
1722. Monday funday.
1723. Sam kissing my belly and saying hi baby!
1724. Patrick's funny texts.
1725. Having such a nice energy auditor.
1726. Playing outside on a chilly afternoon.
1727. Bruschetta and sausages for supper.
1728. Vava eagerly running up to a man in the mall and declaring "hi!"
1729. Dinosaur-ing the nice lady in Target.
1730. Kids not fighting bedtime at all.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

1711 to 1720

1711. Vava cuddling with Patrick, looked like she had his giant feet - belly laughs.
1712. Greeting at church this morning - so many friendly faces!
1713. Vava in her sparkly pink shoes.
1714. Sam playing gleefully with friends after Sunday school.
1715. Going out with a dress and a sweater - no boots or jacket!
1716. Leftover lunch.
1717. Delightful nap.
1718. Playdate supper..
1719. Catching up on my poetry challenge.
1720. Lounging, happy, with my One True Love.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

1701 to 1710

1701. The kids' excitement over Sam's new bed.
1702. Playing at Chapters and getting treats for the way home.
1703. Watermelon making everyone happy.
1704. Patrick taking a nice walk while the kids napped.
1705. Sam being so pumped to go to the sitter's.
1706. Friends for dinner.
1707. A poutine bar.
1708. Gorgeous pregnancy pics ... ooh I can't wait to meet our friends' precious darling!
1709. Rich chocolate cake.
1710. Good conversation and relaxation ... ahhh.

Friday, April 11, 2014

1691 to 1700

1691. Sam and Vava being happy and silly together in the car.
1692. A Moby wrap from a friend, for snuggling our sweet ray of sunshine in October.
1693. Reading the same Bible plan as Patrick.
1694. Pampered Chef orders arriving!
1695. Patrick setting up the new bed all alone.
1696. Running into friends while grocery shopping.
1697. Rubicon Pomegranate juice on sale. Mmm best ever.
1698. Sleepy hugs from Sam.
1699. Vava going to bed with Sam's new underwear on over her pyjamas.
1700. Hearing Spirit in the Sky and singing along with the kids, windows rolled down and sunshine pouring in.