I was laid up for a lot of the past week and I perused some old blog posts. Since I am short on time today, I thought I’d do a re-run.
I’m really glad I re-read this post. Lately, I’ve been disappointed in the things I haven’t been able to do for my kids monetarily and it is a good reminder that my kids really are spoiled…in the right way. 🙂
And now, I give you my reflection from January 2011.
Recently, my sister was informed by a member of our family that her four children were spoiled. Specifically, she was told that her children have “too much stuff” and that they don’t “need” it all and that “they are spoiled”.
That got me thinking. (of course)
I think my kids are spoiled. Truly. But I don’t think they are spoiled because they have lots of stuff. Sure, they do have more than they need and it’s a constant struggle for me to ensure they understand that their needs are wants for many others and to remember to give praise and thanks to God for the blessings in their lives, material and non-material.
Yes. My children are spoiled. Here’s why: Because they have their mother and their father, living out a Catholic christian marriage to the best of their ability. Because they have a secure and stable home life. Because they have parents who are present and ready to love them, listen to them, discipline them. I think all kids should be spoiled.
My life beginning at age 8 was a fairly unstable, insecure life without a father. And many Christmases, the presents were not “wants” but regular things that I needed. Often, Christmas was when we received an annual allotment of socks, underwear and clothing. Very seldom was there something I had told anyone I “wanted” in my stocking or under the tree. And even, then, when my father came to town and asked what we’d like for Christmas and we told him, we often got told, “You don’t really want THAT”. I spent many a summer afternoon accompanying my mother into the Liz Claiborne section at Dillard’s so that she could pad her wardrobe, or sitting by her at the Clinique counter as she bought herself makeup. I don’t begrudge her these things…I never really thought much about it until I became an adult and realized how often my own trip to get a new outfit or taking the time and setting the money aside to buy some makeup, gets pushed to “last” in the priority column.
My life was a constant balancing act of how to be a kid without further wounding an often delicate relationship with both my parents, even though I was not the one to break the relationship in the first place. I’ve only just recently begun coping with the emotional and physical abuse I suffered as a child. I mean, I’m only scratching the surface. I can feel it brewing any time I start thinking of my next session with my therapist…there’s some big breakthrough occurring. It’s slowly building and I can tell at some point, I’m going to finally hit that point where it all comes crashing in on me and I realize the magnitude of it all. For now, I have bits and pieces. What saddens me the most is how common my experience is.
However, I look at my kids and I truly believe they are spoiled. They are spoiled with love and affection. They are spoiled with a father who loves them and isn’t afraid to show it. They are spoiled with a family environment they can count on. They are spoiled because they don’t have to rely on their siblings to carry them through the day, they can come to their mom or their dad, cry on our shoulder or just cuddle.
And, honestly, I can say that my youngest sister and brother are quite possibly the most spoiled children on the face of the earth from my vantage point. I see them as spoiled because they had MY DADDY…all their lives. They still have MY DADDY. Sure, he is their daddy, too. But, I spend my time working on my relationship with my dad knowing it can never be what it would have been. I’m moving forward and I believe my dad and I have a stronger relationship now than we have ever had in my adult years. But, it’s still not what it would have been. That can never be. And that’s just my life. There’s no changing it even if I wanted to. But it doesn’t change the fact that they are spoiled.
I hope that I can always say my kids are spoiled. I hope I can always say they have a dual-parental unit they can count on. I hope I can conquer my demons and move on to a place where I can be a most compassionate, loving and merciful mother to my children. I hope I can always say that every day, I look into the eyes of the man I love knowing he would lay down his life for me and our family.
Please, Lord, allow me to always strive to spoil the heck out of my children!
So far so good.