My grandfather was a hard man. And so my father grew up hard. He had to shoot his favorite dog–his pet, his best friend–because the dog attacked the farm pig one day. Dad was 15 and Papa just handed him the gun and said “handle it.”
They had a dirt floor in a log cabin chinked with mud. One Christmas Papa forgot gifts. On Christmas Eve he ran to the drug store and bought my Dad a plastic watch.
My parents didn’t have toys. They didn’t go on vacations. But they turned out really well. Probably better than most.
So maybe these kinds of stories from our ancestors prompt us to give our children more. But then we fall into the other ditch, not realizing what “more” really is, and we sacrifice our time money and sanity for all the wrong things. This ditch is even worse. And in a subtly twisted kind of way, the Internet and social media like Facebook and Pinterest has fed the mania, often turning it into an egocentric, one-up performance.
In I’m Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical, the author succinctly makes a case for simplicity and I applaud her. Mothers need it to relieve guilt and anxiety, families need it to relieve time and financial constraints, and children need it to grow up happier.
“Parents do not make childhood magical. Abuse and gross neglect can mar it, of course, but for the average child, the magic is something inherent to the age. Seeing the world through innocent eyes is magical. Experiencing winter and playing in the snow as a 5-year-old is magical. Getting lost in your toys on the floor of your family room is magical. Collecting rocks and keeping them in your pockets is magical. Walking with a branch is magical.
It is not our responsibility to manufacture contrived memories on a daily basis.” Read the rest HERE.