For the past 4 years I have been struggling with feeling awful. Feeling that I wasn’t being a good mom because of the things I couldn’t buy my kids. I have a running list of things that I want to buy my kids. I will spend hours looking online to find the best prices knowing that all I can do is dream. Dream about the swing set my kids would love, or the fact that a trampoline would help Jordan with his sensory seeking or the pool that we could enjoy as a family. I look at the train sets and dolls that both kids would have many hours of play with. I question if I am a good mom because I can’t spend money on them. Then, a day like today happens and I realize just how lucky my kids actually are!
Today was a gloriously warm sunshiny day! The weather report promised that we would reach 90* by the afternoon and that it was to be clear. I knew as I started my day that I would end it with some kind of water play with my kids. I wasn’t sure what we would use because we don’t have a pool but I knew that even just a sprinkler could bring lots of squeals and smiles. After naps we started with the sprinkler but soon realized that it was just more fun to have the hose and fill things up with that. I searched around the garage and found a big empty storage container, a couple bowls from the $1 store, their sled and a couple other things. They played with those for over an hour. Filling and spilling. Learning to drink from the hose, learning to use their fingers to make the water spray(Jordan learned he could make mommy jump and squeal in surprise by doing this).
I learned today that its not about the amount you spend on the toys, its how you use them. I am sure they could have had a blast with any one or numerous toys I have longed to get them but they had fun with what we had. They smiled and splashed. Squealed and got along. They had fun! Not realizing that they didn’t have expensive toys. All that they knew was that their mom cared about them and went out of her way to make the afternoon fun.
Some of my fondest memories growing up were of things my sister and I did with the small things. The times we made a train out of the kitchen chairs and our stuffed animals. The fun we with a broken towel rack pretending it was a flute. The amount of noise I am sure we made as we pounded on the piano believing that we were making beautiful music. I am also quite sure that we had some amazing cardboard creations in our time as kids. Growing up I never knew that I didn’t have the expensive stuff, I always knew that I had what I needed to play and have fun. Why is it, that I grew up that way but I am having trouble letting my kids grow up the same way? Why is it so hard to not wish for something better? Something more expensive? Something bigger? Why can’t I find the joy my kids do in the feeling of the hose water passing your lips and hitting you smack in the nose? I guess, as an adult I can learn many things about life from my kids.