So weeks have flown for me, yes I’ve seen a wave of days flying past me like pieces of a calendar, bit by bit sailing over my head. It’s almost comical, if not a little sad, that so much time has past without thinking or digesting the little details, the nuances that used to bring so much joy. Now, it’s a rush to get to this, or finish that. Now, our home, is that face paced routine that I swore time and time again, I’d never allow.
And here we are, allowing it. Determined to make a change, though a few weeks out, our lives will, I have promised us all, will get better.
One little thing had happened recently, and I realized something so near and dear, that I am forcing myself a little time to do my self-help and type it out. Even in the busy-ness that is our lives currently, the kids are surviving….and hopefully for a few more weeks, till get our peace restored.
So my little 7 year old Entertainer was invited by one of her friends to a birthday party. Now seeing just how many birthday party invites we see, we decided to teach the children to pick only one or two very special friends, and then attend only those parties. I tell you, it was the best decision yet!, If we allowed our kids to attend every single party, we’d be broke buying all the gifts!
This party was an American Girl Doll party, where these little girls would go downtown, spend the afternoon eating a fun, American Girl dinner, see all the fun accessories to purchase and all the girlie things included. On the invite was a little note: Please bring your American Girl Doll with you to the party, as she will have her very own chair. Well, our little Entertainer has never owned an American Girl Doll, and honestly I can’t see buying her this overpriced doll. Now our 12 year old Thinker has an American Girl Doll, as it was gifted to her by her aunt, otherwise our girls never would have owned one.
My Entertainer read the invite, and her eyes looked up at me, with such sadness, “Oh No, Mom, I can’t go, I don’t have this doll!”
I did show her on the invite that the restaurant would loan her a doll for the lunch, but I saw it in her eyes, that the ride there and the ride home would have isolated her from her friends and ruined, what could be a great day for her.
I pulled Thinker aside, and asked her if Entertainer could borrow her doll.
She quickly agreed and prepared an outfit for her American Girl Doll fitting for such a birthday party downtown. Once dressed, and presented to Entertainer, as the doll to bring, she leapt with joy, knowing that she would indeed fit in with these other girls.
Waiting those few precious hours before the party were agonizing for Entertainer, no doubt. In her excitement, she began to play, and yes, throw this prized possession into the air without thought that Thinker had sacrificed it for her benefit. Entertainer was too excited to be aware of how this would make her sister feel. I saw Thinker’s face, and it was stricken with horror.
“Mom! She is going to break my doll! It is so special to me!”
To which I denied her feelings too, eek, and said, “Honey I never see you play with it, why can’t she?”
Her face sunk. Her mother didn’t understand, that this doll was special because of who gave it to her, not because she was still so young and played with it all the time. Ugh. Mom has a few lessons to learn too.
Ok, back on track. HH came to the rescue to teach Entertainer what a sacrifice Thinker was making for her and how to properly treat such a grand gift even if it was only for the day. Entertainer made a sincere promise to take special care of this doll, and Thinker agreed to trust this good promise and let her take it along to the party.
Entertainer was dropped off for the party, skipping and jumping all the way, as I reminded her, take good care of the doll. She waved good-bye and with Thinker in the car with me, I told her, “Honey, look how happy you made her. She will fit in with all her friends because of you.”
Now the day progressed, and I took Thinker to run errands, go shopping and to a girls lunch, just us two. We covered some great conversational topics, and bonded in brand new ways. She has reached a new maturity and in our conversations it was obvious that she felt it too.
We returned home to see that Entertainer was indeed on her way home too. I stepped out to our driveway to greet the mother of the birthday girl, and welcome Entertainer home. I saw her bound out of the van, as the mother driving, insisted that she tell me this story of my little girl while in her care.
She told me of how all the girls were taking their dolls to get the hair fixed and brushed, as they all were out of sorts. She told me how my little girl stood aside, clearly distraught. This mother asked my Entertainer what was wrong, to which she said, “It’s not my doll, it’s my sister’s, and I am not sure if she would allow me to do this.”
This mother was shocked. My little Entertainer, who we all worked for her to retain her social status among her friends, was the first to admit, she should call home to ensure her sister would allow such a treat for her doll. This mother gave Entertainer her cell phone to call my husband to ask permission, to which he said the obvious yes…. How Thinker would be thrilled to have her dolly’s hair fixed and braided!
When Entertainer presented this doll, perfect hair and all, it was a grand moment in my home, to see Thinker’s face, who was nervous about how her doll might be returned…to see her in better condition then when it left! Her trust in her sister’s promise proved to be well worth it.
Now this mother who told me this story, was completely touched by Entertainer’s concern and care, not only for her sister’s doll, but for her sister! Perhaps this kind of genuine interest for another, and the sacrifice and simplicity that a tight budget forces, is so rarely seen in this day and age.
And for once, I was glad to be forced to a tight budget. What my girls had learned by this simple birthday party invite and attendance, will, I pray, be with them for many, many years.
So many people, we see these days, live in excess. There is no limit, no desire left unfulfilled. This whole experience left me with a profound understanding that while, living in excess can have certain advantages, the greater virtues, the greater lessons in life, at times, can come when we least expect it, within a very tight budget.
These girls will be sisters for the rest of their lives. If we can teach and demonstrate how to help each other, love each other and sacrifice, then they will not only have each other as sisters, but real friends, there for each other, to laugh with, play with, and yes, save face in front of their friends.
So I bemoan our tight budget. Who doesn’t. But these lessons are life long. So, we sacrifice immediate gratification, and look to a future that promises great grace for these kids. They will learn sacrifice, and learn to not be afraid of it. Sacrifice is apart of our world, and hopefully will benefit them in the life after, when God clearly sees their trust in Him.
I pray my kids aren’t afraid of their future. I hope they have trust and faith that God will reward them for their sacrifice. I am determined to have them be strong, and confident in their ability to move forward – with or without material things.
It’s not these things, these material items, that determine us. It’s how we live the life God gave us. God bless these American sisters!
Copyright 2012 Sahmatwork