Sunday, April 28, 2013
My kids call these "wish flowers".
They pick them, make a wish, close their eyes, and blow with all their might, hoping that the power of their breath is enough to force every single piece of "cotton" off of the stem, granting their wish immediately.
To see their innocence and hope every time that they do this is both inspiring and heartbreaking. Knowing that they have placed all of their hope and faith on a common weed makes me realize just how trusting they can be, but knowing that the weed doesn't have the power to make everything right is just as disappointing for me as it is for them.
As their mother, I want to make all of their wishes come true. As a human, I know that's impossible. How can I do for them what I can't even do for myself?
As a parent, I think one of the hardest things ever is to see my kids want something and not be able to provide that for them - be it a material item or not. It's no secret that I don't have money to burn, so when the kids ask for something.... a new bike, or new 'cooler' shoes, or to go out to eat, or whatever... and I have to say "I'm sorry, but we can't afford that right now" it absolutely breaks my heart. But at the same time, I try to use that as a teaching moment - "we can't always do what we want all of the time, but if we work toward a goal and save our money, we can do it another time" or something similar to that. I think that it teaches them something, and I think that they learn to appreciate things more because of this, and I know that will help them in the long run - but it doesn't negate the fact that right now - it sucks.
I hate using money - or the lack of it - to teach my kids life lessons, but when you get right down to it, so much of our lives nowadays revolves around money. Our kids are being taught by society in general that they have to have the newest best biggest brightest thing or they're not cool - and to me, that's just wrong. And I'm trying to teach my kids that they don't have to have all that to be cool.
Every now and then, there's a moment when I think that maybe I've gotten through to them - like today, when we were driving to church in The Dude's chariot and Emily looked at me and said "Mom, when I get old enough to drive, I want a truck just like this - I don't want a new one, I want an old one" and I could have hugged and kissed her right then and there if I wasn't driving. She thinks that the old beat up truck is cool - and that makes me so happy.
Right now, 98% of the enormous stress in my life revolves around money - or the lack of it. We need money to fix my van, we need money to move, we need money to get The Dude's surgery on his shoulder, we need money to plan our yearly TMOART to see my parents.....money money money. But as The Dude reminded me today: "We will get through this - we've gotten through worse, and we'll get through this too, because we're too badass not to."
Don't tell him, but I'm beginning to think that he's my own version of a wish flower - except that instead of me being able to push him around and get my way, his strength in tough situations is what is keeping me from totally losing my mind.