The Girl really did not like the $2 day challenge. The day started with tears as I explained that she couldn’t have one of the clementines on the counter because they cost too much and then we wouldn’t have much more we could eat that day.
“But why can’t I have them? You already spent the money on them to buy them? Can I have one, mama, can I?”
She really didn’t understand. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried explaining things to a loudly weeping 7 year old but it’s a venture doomed from the outset.
They were, however, won over by the homemade bread to go with the lentils for lunch. And those who didn’t like the dahl for dinner had the leftovers from lunch.
“I don’t want to do this.” The Girl whined several times that day and I didn’t really have a response, until I realized no one does. No kid chooses to only have a certain amount and kind of food every day. No mother chooses to give her children the poorest, most meager meals available. No one chooses to live in abject poverty. My girl has a choice, I have a choice. She can have clementines for breakfast normally. What of all those who don’t?
This is what I asked her, and the rest of them, at the end of the day.
Yesterday, through facebook, I heard of a local family who lost every thing in their 4 children’s bedrooms due to a house fire. I asked the kids if they had any clothes or toys they wanted to give away. They took off into their rooms, occasionally popping out to ask again, “How old are the boys again? Is this the right size?”
I got pretty teary when they showed me the finished pile. Two of the Girl’s favorite skirts and blouses were in there, “matched up so the girl can have a pretty outfit to wear”. The Boy’s new skateboard, the one he received for his birthday 2 months ago. “It’s nice enough to give away still mom and the 11 year old boy might like it.” Little included her treasured Corduroy book and matching bear. The Boy selected Legos, making sure there were cool things in there, for the 5 year old boy and his lizards and reptiles book. We found hand me downs that are still too big for the Girl to pass on and I watched how thrilled they were to discover that they did indeed have things good enough to give away and how much pleasure they took in that.
We are rich with gifts. Sometimes it takes giving them away to notice it.
Other gifts I’m counting,
Bam Bam hugs. He wraps his little arms around my neck and snuggles his head against my shoulder.
Coming into the bedroom one night to find Bam Bam fas asleep on Aaron’s chest.
Little tucked under Aaron’s arm, fast asleep, hair strewn across her lovely little face.
The Boy surprising us with apple pancakes and organizing his sisters to help.
Morning giggles as they all greet each other for the day.
The Boy asking forgiveness of his sisters for his tone of voice without any prompting.
Double ovens for simultaneous dinner and cookie baking.
Hot tea and homemade beignets.
Horse trails through marsh land.
Crazy dome shaped hills.
Old stories, retold.
Sweet, sweet melodies sung together.