Thoughtful Thursday: Material Things


My son recently had a birthday. He’s officially at a stage where I toe the line between being awesome and being a total bane. Sometimes the harder I try, the more estranged he gets. This is parenting. It welcomes with open arms and stabs you in the back.

I presented my growing boy with a kindle fire as a gift this birthday. I’m happy to report that he loves the gift. A thank you is always preferred over a set of eyes rolled so far to the back of the head that only the whites show, so I felt pretty proud of myself.

Last night, however, the boy dropped the kindle. It was more of a horrific, slow motion fumble like they replay during the big game. Of course the screen is now spiderwebbed. At only a week old.

I grew up in a low income family who didn’t have much. I valued everything I had, and I still do. As a parent, I want nothing more than to give my children things and opportunities that I didn’t have growing up. Only, there have to be limitations in place. To my son, the kindle was like receiving a new laptop. And it felt that way to my wallet when I bought it.

But now it’s broken. He’s upset, I’m upset. It’s something new and fancy and you don’t take care of anything!

I’m not replacing it. I’m not repairing it. I’m disappointed at the way in which the accident occurred. Better choices and more thought would have prevented it.

So, now, I’m contemplating what I feel is an utter lack of regard for how hard I work to provide things for my children. I can’t help it. And I don’t want to spend another cent on electronic things that will end up in the trash. But in a material and increasingly electronic world, how do we, as parents, monitor these things? How do we regulate them?

I see kids younger than my son who have iPhones, and I can’t imagine spending that kind of money on something that will probably lead to more trouble than anything else.

So, parents, can you relate? What limitations have you set? Or do you provide all the hottest new electronic gadgets your little darlings desire?

*image via Pinterest*


Thoughtful Thursday: Enjoy the Present, Embrace the Past

I’ve often wondered if, given the opportunity, would I want to see what the future holds. Much like those philosophical discussions concerning the past– those moments when we really question whether we would want to change the events of our past– it seems a tricky business to glimpse the future.

If something glorious lies ahead, we think we’d want to know. That would certainly give us something to look forward to. But how would that knowledge taint the present? If we constantly look forward, striving toward what we think we want, would we really enjoy the present moments? The midnight giggles and the dusky walks among a field of tickling grasses, those quiet moments even every thought is introspective and it seems we’ve figured out who we are and what we’re about. These are moments meant to be cherished, for without them, any future events will lack those memories and experiences.

But the same goes for having the knowledge that something unpleasant lies ahead. Small pleasures suddenly lose all flavor in the face of worrying about future heartbreak or financial woes or worse.

So I say, worry less about what may happen in the future. Enjoy the now. Be mindful of the future, sure, but what will happen will happen and, most times, we are powerless to stop it. The future is shaped by the past and the present. Choose to enjoy the present and embrace the past because we mold our future every single day.