Thursday, July 28, 2011
one of our best friends was telling me the other night that her parents' marriage ended because of her mom's spending. this scared the crap out of me. I have, for as long as I can remember, had a serious shopping/spending problem. I truly enjoy giving to others and feel like the more I spend, the more love it shows. I live for showering my girls with toys, games, movies, clothes...anything they want. and they want everything.
after talking to my friend, I started thinking about what I am really giving my kids. aside from just more junk to fill our little home, I am giving them the wrong impression of a true expression of love.
last weekend we all went to a parade. the thrill of trying to catch and scrambling after candy was adorable to watch, and then a car came by with the passengers blowing bubbles. no candy, just bubbles. and Birdie went crazy. she ran into the street and chased the bubbles with more excitement than she'd shown for any of the candy. and that's what she talked about later. I threw out the candy and they didn't even notice or remember; this is exactly what happens with the things I buy them. their passion over a certain toy is so fleeting that they have typically forgotten about whatever it was by the end of the day.
growing up, we never went without but I don't think either of my parents gave into our every wish or want or desire (or demand). and when I think back, I remember very few toys or dolls. I have a few "things" that I really look back on fondly; however, it is the memories of times spent with my siblings and parents that I can recall vividly. doing things that didn't require any "stuff" like playing kick the can late at night, catching lightning bugs with our neighbor Emily, jumping off the front stairs using a Jewel bag as a parachute...these are the things that made me feel loved and made my childhood.
a few weeks ago, Mother met the girls and me at a park. I brought some bubbles for us to play with and Mother brought herself. and it is a day that Birdie still talks about.
no fancy toys, no fancy new clothes, just us... and some honeybee. a simple, free memory that it seems Birdie holds dear.
I am vowing now for the sake of my husband, my marriage, my girls, and myself: I am going to change. I have tried before and have not been entirely successful but I feel this time will be different. when I am slipping, I will think back on that day at the park and how much it meant to Birdie and how amazing it felt and how it cost us nothing...but was worth a million bucks.
happy friday, big spenders ♥