The sky was a beautiful pinky purple this morning so I called Lily to come see it. When she looked out the back door, she saw that the gazebo frame was all destroyed and asked what happened. I told her the tent never got taken down and the weight of the snow collapsed it.
She was surprisingly upset. "Well, what are we going to do?" I told her we'd take it apart and take it to the dump, that it had probably had it's run anyway. (It had; most of the tabs were ripped off and the fabric was thin from years of sun exposure.) "We'll have to get a new one then. To have shade for my birthday and summer. Okay. So we're going to have to save our money then. Dad's birthday is next, then yours, then Finn's. I'll use the money in my piggy bank, Dad can use his birthday money or you know, those gift cards he gets sometimes? So then we should have enough money to get one."
I thought that was a great idea. While she doesn't really grasp how much things cost, she knows we have to save our money and work together to buy the things we want for our family.
Actually, with Christmas coming, it's a good time to teach lots of good lessons. About not being greedy. About thinking about what we actually need. That it's better to be thoughtful and genuine when gift giving rather than buying stuff for people just because that's apparently what Christmas is all about.
Chris bought an iPad last week. (He saved his money for it!) He downloaded a bunch of books on minimalism in daily life. While he's been interested for a while, reading them really helped to identify all the things that could be simpler because it can be really overwhelming. It's usually just all the stuff that accumulates in our house that has no where to go. It's the pressure I feel to spend last Christmas's gift certificates because they're about to expire. It's stupid shows on tv where every audience member gets a bunch of "merchandise" they never knew they wanted and still don't need – and then they have to take it home and figure out where it fits it. It's the holiday gift guides in magazines. It's the thought of fighting the malls.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a scrooge and actually like the holidays and the baking and the parties, but now more than ever, I don't want or need any more than we already have.
A lot of this may have to do with this time of the year, reminding me of this time last year. I'd just had an amniocentisis because of an "abnormal" 12 week ultrasound. After two miscarriages, this was feeling like the worst thing that could happen, that we would never get this much sought-after baby. We spent almost three weeks waiting for results...
Thankfully, Finn is perfect. I love being at home with them. I love walking Lily to and from school each day, getting to know all the kids in her class. (The only downfall to my home-time is Lily's extremely intense separation anxiety has resurfaced – in a very bad way.)
My point? I know that my time at home is slowly coming to an end and I've been thinking about what I want my kids to know if I get hit by a bus or just in case I forget to tell them what's important to me and their dad. These "life lessons" will be just that.