Thursday, October 13, 2011
The last month has included Sophia's birthday, a trip to California and the opening of the Disney store in the Galleria, to which Sophia had a gift card.
All that to say that it's been a lucrative month for our five-year-old. I have a feeling that what I'm about to describe is a phenomenon common among children post-birthday, but I can only speak for Sophia. Basically, the more she has, the more she wants. Now that I say it out loud, it's not just kids, is it? It's a pretty common human reaction. Stuff is cool. New stuff is even cooler. Toys and gadgets are addictive.
Most days are actually without greedy incident, but if Sophia catches sight of the $8.00 she has left to spend or sees a commercial advertising something mind-blowingly awesome, then we're back to, "Please, mommy! This is the laaaast thing I'll ask for." And Erick and I are back to being single-message parents. "I'd like to see some more gratitude, Sophia." It's a constant theme. Gratitude is one of the lessons that, as I'm sharing it, I feel an urgency that it eventually sink in. It's a lesson I so often need to hear myself, and it's a lesson that may be the difference in Sophia's life between contentment and bitterness.
In my mind, gratitude and humility are tied closely together. When I am feeling truly grateful for the blessings in my life, it is generally because I am in a moment of awareness that I deserve these blessings no more (or less) than the next guy. When I lose sight of that truth, I tend to have a bigger appetite for things. Of course, when talking with children about humility, it's a short jaunt over to guilt. Learning to share the importance of gratitude, beyond the "Thank you for the gift! It's exactly what I wanted!," which Sophia is quite good at, is a complicated mine field, riddled with the temptation to throw in just a tiny guilt trip. As usual, the best way to teach her is to show her.