|San Augustin, El Salvador; Photo by Abel|
I wonder if it slipped right past you that I mentioned that I was taking advantage of having the house to myself to host a girls night...in fact, I had an entire week at home alone. Every mama's dream, right? It was luxurious but I also put in a pretty good amount of work cleaning, organizing and purging (and actually working at my job!). The organizing part (toys and bedrooms, at least) lasted for about five minutes after the kids got home, but it was great to purge several large bags of old toys and ephemera and to give all the upstairs rooms a really deep clean. (Even the baseboards, folks!)
The cause of my time alone was that Abel went on a week-long work and community-building trip with our church to visit our sister parish in a very, very rural town in El Salvador. And the boys were at my parents' house for their annual week of Camp Grammy and Grampy.
They all had an incredible week, for different reasons, of course. And Abel came home with lots and lots of stories to share.
One of the most poignant was that he was talking with a young girl (Abel is fluent in Spanish, which was a huge help to him and the group!) and was answering her many, many questions about life in the US. He got out his phone and used the WiFi* to show her some Google Earth pictures of our town and she asked about the rows of small buildings just outside of town. Well, that's the local storage unit facility. How do you explain such excess to a young girl living in such poverty? He told her that in the US some people have so much stuff that they buy extra space away from their house to store it. Her eyes opened in amazement.
When he told me that story, I don't think I've ever been so grateful that we live in a relatively (for the US, but of course luxurious by so many standards) small home and that we definitely do not have a storage unit!
I was thinking a lot about this story and about the young girl this past weekend when Lucas was begging to buy something (er, have something bought for him!) nearly every single second. So much about parenthood is so hard, but I definitely find that one of my biggest challenges with Lucas, especially, is this constant desire for things. Even silly small things that may only cost 50 cents or $1 that he begs for desperately then forgets about they day after he gets them. It is so much easier to give in and buy something for him (or let him buy it) but in the long-run that is not the solution, and not the lesson I want to teach him. Neither Abel or I give in all the time, but I still think that we do give in too often. This is definitely an area that I need to work on as a parent.
*He had limited access to WiFi in parts of the town and yet for a few days there was no running water. Crazy.
Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!