And for once I was SuperMom

Monday, December 15, 2014

Something They Need

Something to read
Something to wear
Something they want
Something they need.

This is an interesting category to write about.  
Mostly what comes to mind are things like mittens, coats, warm hats, cold weather gear, those are things that children actually need. But, see, here in new England I had to buy stuff like that back in October.  Actually it usually goes like this; you get lulled into a false sense of security in October, because October is not that bad.  Then In November you get your first really cold day, and then realize that child's hat, or coat, or mittens don't fit from last year.  So if you've got your stuff together you make them try it on in October so then you can have it ready for that first cold day.
If you're me, you end up buying it in November after having to force your child into last year's coat.
There is usually tears.  
Not always theirs.
So, what I'm saying is that by Christmas time, my children already have all their cold weather gear that they will need to not lose an extremity here in New England.

So what do my children need right now?
Actually, really nothing.
They need warm clothes.  They have plenty of those.
They need a warm house.  We have that.  Of course warm is a relative term.  I believe right now the thermostat says 64.  
They need food.  We have that.
They need love.  We do love them.

So what do they really need right now?
I cannot think of a single thing.

Scott and I have been talking about to get each other for Christmas.  We have been using the phrase 'could use.' 
"I could use new pajamas."
"I could use another dress shirt."  
"I could use a pair of those gloves with the phone fingertips.  What? Don't give me that look, you keep texting me when I'm walking, then I have to whip my gloves off, it's annoying.  Hey, you could use a pair too."
He refuses to get them on principal.
We actually have all we need.  The things we 'could use' only serve to make life a little easier.  We are at a place where we can buy what we need.  That's a great place to be.

My children aren't getting anything they need this Christmas.  To fulfill that category I would have to make something up.  

Maybe we need to rethink the category of 'need.'  That we shouldn't be giving a 'thing.'  My children need love, so maybe in this season I make sure that I show them I love them.  Maybe by doing things with them I don't like.  You know getting down on the floor and actually playing with them.  Those things.  Meeting them where they're at, instead of giving what you want to.  Everyone has a different way of feeling loved.  I will read books to my children until my voice cracks, but I do not get down on the floor and play 'pretend' with them.
Don't start thinking I'm all awesome, this afternoon we had some former students over for lunch and my five year old was asking them to go upstairs and play with her.  As she was reciting all the different roles that each student would play, one prompted,
"And mommy?"
"Mommy has to do the dishes."  That hurt a bit.  Or a lot.

The other day I took my five year old to the pool, just the two of us.  As I was buckling her in to her car seat I realized that I all she does at the pool is play imaginary games.  Usually she is a mermaid.  I don't engage her in these games because I am usually wrangling her two year old sister.  I realized I was going to have to 'play' with her.  So for an hour, I was a mermaid.
One could argue that she needed that.  There was definitely a smoothing to some of her more difficult behavior after I played mermaid with her.
All it took was one hour.

It's a thought process.  A paradigm shift.  When one lives in a state when you have all you really need, your needs change.  What my family needs for Christmas can't be put under the tree in wrapping paper.  What they do need will take thought, I'll have to actually think through how to give them something they need.  I might even have to talk to my husband about it.  Or think about how he feels loved, am I missing him on that?  How do my daughters feel loved?
Then take time to do that, rather than getting them another thing that they don't really need.

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