Saturday, January 12, 2013
The "Haves" and The "Have Nots"
Last year around back to school time a friend and myself were having a Facebook disagreement about the need for 20 glue sticks per kid. While we both agreed it was because I was buying for more than my child, her point was that Kindergarteners (or young school aged kids) shouldn't be able to distringuish between the "haves" and the "have nots" soon in life.
This concept bothered me. At the time it was because I knew she would never see my side of the school supply debacle (mostly because she didn't have a child in school yet), and it seemed to me she was looking down at me and decided that I was emotioanlly bankrupt.
If you know me, you know I have enough emotions to outfit a small country! And, often my big heart breaks on a weekly or daily basis over a rainbow of things.
My family never had much, and there are only a handful of times that I felt that. I knew it, but I never felt the sting of it. Not really. I will admit those few times that it did have stuck with me throughout my life and give me a cold feeling when I recall them.
Even fewer times in my married life have I ever felt the reality of where our family lies on the financial mountain. Gracie and Thomas have always had everything they needed, and more. They have gone to private preschool, they have closets full of clothes, and bins and bins of books and toys.
I enjoy, and often tout my great finds at Thrift stores and other bargain places. I am proud of how I economize, and my kids have never (so far) been embarrassed of what they wear or what they have.
I was uncomfortable today.
I stayed up late making Gracie and her doll matching outfits to wear today.
4 other girls arrived with matching outfits for themselves and their dolls that were straight from a catalog.
2 other girls had American Girl shirts to wear.
I proudly fluffed out LiAnna's hair and took her picture as we did the activities.
Nearly all 50+ girls dolls were brand name American Girl dolls.
Several of them had "McKenna" Gracie's dream doll that she didn't get for Christmas.
I watched Gracie move LiAnna's arm and dance and flip her around.
The girls around her traded outfits and accessories for their dolls to play with.
I felt like I had cheated my daughter.
Only minutes ago I was so excited to take her to an event with something that she really loves. And, now I was feeling like the room had a great big divider down the middle, and Gracie was on the side of the "have nots."
We have raised our children to be grateful and to feel blessed, and at times it is a hard concept for them to remember all the time, and for them to accept. Kids will be kids. They are always going to want what someone else has, or more than they have, and definitely more than they need. As a mother I know it is my job to be sure they have what is necessary, and some of what they want, and the ability to teach them the difference.
I am still proud of my thriftiness. It is apart of me. I am proud of my children and who they are and how they present themselves.
But, I am also a human woman, and I saw a vast difference today, and it didn't seem nearly as simple as a glue stick.