Saturday, January 31, 2009

Swimming Upstream

A drug store in town came up with a brilliant idea. The school supplies. They get the list from the school and package them up. You just go down to the store, tell them what grade and they give you the pack complete with a free Wenkinz ($14.99 value). Upon ordering Maya’s school Supplies, I asked the casher to please do not put the Webkinz in my bag. The casher looked at me horrified as if she has just discovered I had 3 nipples. ”You don’t want a Webkinz!?” ”No thanks”. I felt the urge to explain or defend myself. But I just smiled and left.

I have nothing against webkinz. It’s the stuff. How much stuff do we have to own? When Maya gets her free Webkinz, then I will have to get one for Mona, right? And they have to have friends for their Webkinz. And they will have to spend hours on the computer….the floodgate opens.

Am I a bad mother because I don’t let them have Webkinz? I know I’m not. But I am frustrated that the world makes me feel like I am. I feel as though I am constantly on guard about teaching my children what I believe. I believe in exercising imagination, creating an environment which stimulates curiosity and building a home where we talk and be together doing some old fashioned fun–read books, play games, art and building a fort. I want to teach my daughters about insects, birds and about planting a garden. I want them to know how to sew and bake.

On a typical day of running errands, we have to say ‘no’ about 5 times to someone wanting give my kids candies. I know they mean well and my kids are cute. I hate being the bad guy always saying ‘no’. I want to be the one to give treats to my kids. And when they get treats, I want them to be excited because treats are supposed be rare. I voiced a concern a few years back to the school my daughter was attending about the amount of sugar that was being handed to the kids. I asked the teacher to please consider the school to be a place where healthy life style is being taught and promoted. I was pleased that they took it well and now they have less treats.

It will be easy if I just did things to keep peace and let my kids have everything they want or everyone else have. I believe in being the change. Living wholeheartedly what I believe and hopefully inspiring others to do the same. But if I am not teaching my next generation what is important, what good does that do?

I feel for my kids though. It’s not easy. ”You have to like Hannah Montana, or I won’t be your friend”. They hear stuff like that on a daily basis. I have to remind myself though that I’m not here for the popularity contest. To be honest, I get discouraged a lot and tired of conflict. I try to change my focus then. I go and spend time with people in my life who have wonderful children (most of them grown up) who are not afraid to be the change, who know without a doubt what they believe. I get encouraged and it gives me the strength and love to push forward–one day at a time.

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