Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stuff

The countdown to moving day has begun. Eighteen days are all that remain. When you're a child eighteen is huge, a monument you could never imagine attaining. When you're a grown-up and your eyes drift over the copious amounts of things that need to be cleaned, packed up or thrown out, eighteen is frighteningly small. Minisule. Minute.

And on top of it all the holidays are coming.

I've been trying very hard to be good this season. To override my impuslive, dread-filled heart that somtimes -yes, I'll admit it- gets a little green around the edges when I hear of other parent's and their holiday spending plans. The things they have on a list for their couple of kids that is feet longer than the one comprised for my five.

We're not rich, I never pretend to be. There are things that I just can't give my kids and yes, sometimes it tears me up inside. But it's ME that is hurting, bothered, angry. The kids don't seem to care a lick to be honest. There's just some soul deep fear inside me that screams my kids are going to grow up without. Lacking. Unwhole just because of some stuff I fail to gift them.

They have enough now, I know that. I look around the room and while it seems daunting to have so much, it's really not when you divide it by five. If you look inside the toy box it would seen the girls have lots of stuffed toys dolls but if you count them, they only have three a piece. That's more than some singletons have. But that's where things get tricky. One child's posessions aren't much but times-ing anything by three or five makes it seem mountanious.

They have things to create, books to inspire, toys to imagine and games to entertain. They have friends in each other, something I couldn't have brought home from the store. So, this year I'm trying to be practical filling the stockings with socks and undies, school supplies and fun workbooks, fiction reading and snacks. I found some dresses at the thrift store for the girls and a few kids will get new shoes. There are some small fun things included, the girls have been asking for Pillow Pets for over a year and I'm finally capitulating. Cordelia and Amelia will have new handmade twin quilts if I can get them completed in time. I'm trying hard to stay away from electronic toys, things that need batteries or keep us away from each other.

I got them all matching jammies and a movie to watch as a family on the Eve. Special paper popcorn boxes ($1 for 4 from Joanns) and some treats to make it special. It might only take us fifteen minutes for us all to open gifts but I think that's enough. I have to keep reminding myself while I pass shopping carts heaping with presents and adults pushing and pulling them in tandem like pack mules down Target's asiles, that my kids have what they need; a loving family and parents that are trying to create a childhood of wonder and delight without the hinderance of so much Stuff.

2 comments:

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Melanie J. said...

Goodness, I hear you, and I don't even have children yet. But as my personal views on the holiday shift to handmades and frugality, I'm butting up against my inlaws' idea of xmas, which involves piles of pressies under the tree and overspending. I'm finding joy in the holiday again for the first time in ages, by just making myself accept where we are, what we're able to provide, and take comfort in the giving. You have such strength and ingenuity; I wish you luck with the holidays and the move.