Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Lesson in Contentment

In my house, we are currently working on being happy with what we have.
Our 4-yr-old is constantly asking for things
toys, trips, you name it.
If he is playing with a toy and his brother picks up a more enticing toy (made oh so more enticing by the fact that his brother wants to play with it),
he will start asking over and over "Mama B, when Oliver* gets done with that toy, can I play with it?."
I'll say yes and he'll start pestering Oliver, "Hey Oliver, are you done with that toy? Do you want to trade?"
We are constantly having to remind him when we go to the store
that he cannot constantly ask for every single thing he sees.
So, his work-around is
"When we get finished playing with our toys, can we sell them and then get that?"
Or he'll pull the Santa card.
Sometimes, he'll see something on TV (which is extremely limited) and say "Oooh I want that, Mama B. What is that?"

I often find myself saying
"Oscar, it's OK to want things, but we also need to be happy with what we have.
We have two toy boxes full of toys at home,
and we need to appreciate those toys."
The first time I said this to him, each word was like a glove across my face
waking me from my own "wanting" stupor!

K-Daddy and I are deep in the throes of eliminating business debt from a closed restaurant,
so there is not a lot of extra for Mom and Dad toys either.

As we were out on a perfect lake one evening this summer,
with a perfectly fading day,
enjoying the perfect freedom of just hanging with our kids and
watching them enjoy themselves,
I found myself (really really) wanting a new boat.
Our poor old girl is 40 years old.
She needs her floor replaced (again) and her seats replaced (again),
and we have to keep remembering to turn the bilge pump on
to rid her of the unsightly bloat of water retention.

But we have a boat.

And when the wind is in your hair and the lake is like glass
that's all that matters.
We love her and appreciate that, with all her aches and pains,
she will still fire up and get us to that perfect little cove for some stress-free family time!

Below is an homage to our old girl "Shoebox," and a practice in contentment.

*Names changed to protect foster children.

What do you need to practice gratitude for today?

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