Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm Thinking of Packing This Family Off to a Third World Country

Mornings are pretty hectic around my neck of the woods. Not as busy as they used to be when I worked for a pay cheque (those mornings would be labeled 'insanity at its finest') but then again, there's The Baby added to the mix and now two teenagers instead of one.

This morning's routine was the usual. Make coffee, make breakfast for the younger girls, make 4 lunches, supervise clothing choices, ensure breakfasts are being consumed, make Husband's coffee to go, brush hair, order teeth to be brushed, find stuff in fridge for males in the family, empty dishwasher, trip over the dog, ask who's turn it is to take out dog, ensure assorted items needed for school are in backpack, spray aloe vera onto The Eldest's back that she sunburned 5 days before wearing a strapless graduation dress. Just what millions of other moms in our glorious country of freedom and clean water do every day. Getting their families ready for another day of learning and work.

This morning's whining and complaining coming from my assorted children about how unjust and unfair their lives are living under my regime started to get on my nerves. Actually, it got on my last nerve and snapped it in half. The complaints were about everything from having to walk to school to how unfair it was that I was MAKING a child eat peanut butter on her toast instead of getting cinnamon and sugar. No amount of calm and rational explanations on my part was getting through their thick skulls.

Ok. It all started out calm and rational on my part and ended with the statement, "I think I should ship the lot of you off to India for a month! Then you'd see how lucky you've got it!"


Much as I'd like to blame some flaming PMS on that statement, I think it may have been my subconscious creeping out into the light and pointing its finger at me. I get mad at my kids for not recognising how good they've got it. Do I recognise how good I've got it?

I think I mostly do. Most days. Then the neighbour went and rebuilt her already beautiful deck in a short 3 days and when I looked out at it this morning at her perfect backyard with her green patio set I felt nothing but pure envy. ENVY. It's not fair. I want our backyard finished. I want a green patio set. I want to plant pretty flowers. I want. I want. I want.

*smack upside the head*

I live in a house. No, a home. I have a husband who works hard for our family every day. My neighbour with the beautiful deck does not. I have four healthy children. I have friends who have spent weeks in the hospital with their child and may have to do again in the future. I have food in the house to make all those breakfasts and pack all those lunches everyday. Many families in our own community, never mind India, rely on food banks and have sent their children to school hungry and are worried about what they are going to feed them for dinner.

My family has so much. Are we rich? No. Do we struggle to pay all the bills every month? Yes. Do we have cable and cell phones? Yes. Do my kids know how lucky they are? No. I don't think they do.

"Why do I have to walk to school? It's not fair! I can't walk fast! I'll be late. It's not my turn to take out the dog. It's hard to walk to school because I have so much to carry. I don't want peanut butter. I want cinnamon and sugar. It's not fair!!!!!!"

"Why do I have to make all these lunches? Why did you have to step in that pile of dirt....I just swept that! Why can't you kids see how good you've got it???"

Maybe what I meant to say this morning is that our whole family needs to be shipped to India for a month. And not wealthy India. Third world India. Or perhaps a walk through the downtown Vancouver Eastside, or visit the Salvation Army's homeless shelter in our very own community.

At least, an attitude change by me.

I'm grateful for a husband who is too tired to finish the backyard because he works so hard everyday and many times into the weekend for our family.

I'm grateful that The Eldest is graduating this weekend because it means she's had the opportunity to get an education and that she will be heading to university in the fall. How many women in the world can say that?

I'm grateful that The Boy is eating us out of house and home. It means he is healthy and growing and on his way to being a man.

I'm grateful that The Princess was sick last week. It meant I could take her to the doctor and use our pretty awesome health care system. How many people in the world have access to health care, let alone universal access to health care?

I'm grateful I have to watch The Baby every second. I'm grateful that she's so busy and curious. It means I have the opportunity to stop and look at bugs and sticks and butterflies and rocks and 'find the quiet' in days full of stuff to do.

Today I am choosing to be grateful.

How about you?


Bridget said...

Lovely post! :)

Gina said...

Thanks for this...and thanks for the wonderful comment you left on my blog. It helped me immensely.