Dean, especially, is really taken with drawing, writing, coloring, cutting, creating. He's always making something. Paper airplanes. Wall decor for the playroom. Little pictures to mail to Nana and Granddad. It's really very cute.
Since we moved into the new house, he's drawn a lot of pictures of houses, usually with a chimney with smoke coming out (because we now have not one but two awesome wood-burning fireplaces! Holla!)
This week, he drew a picture that was totally cute, of a house with a car parked next to it.
|Isn't that little car the cutest?|
He made it for Miss Arlene, our after-care provider, but I asked him if I could have it, because 1) It was the first time he ever drew a car on his own and 2) For some reason, it made me get all filled up.
I brought it to work and put it on my desk, where I've been thinking about why Dean's picture moved me so.
And I think it's this:
I once read somewhere that if you own a car, you are in the top 10-percent of wealthiest people in the world.
Dean drew a picture of a house (likely ours) and a car (also likely ours) which means he associates the two -- a house and a car go together.
I imagine that an average child in Haiti or Zimbabwe would maybe draw a picture of a happy yellow sun, some grass and a house, but probably NOT a car.
But Dean did. And it reminds me how incredibly privileged we are.
Sometimes -- even with the new house and the promotions and the private schools -- I know I can feel poor. (Well, maybe that's because of the private schools...lol.) I dream of more, more, more - better vacations, pricier summer camps, the (good ol') days when I used to get my hair done once a week. I think about the things I wish I had, as opposed to being grateful for the things I do.
For example, we went into credit card debt for the first time in our marriage to pay for some of the renovations to the new house. And because of that, we're not going on our beach trip this year. This not infrequently makes me sad. But HULLO -- you renovated a house, Tanika! You're not going to the beach this year because you installed soft-close cabinets and an induction range and office built-ins! Not because you make the equivalent of $2 a day like many, many people in this world. Also, it's the BEACH. Not a necessity. Get over yourself!
(I have to talk to myself this way sometimes. Tough love from me to me.)
The truth is we have a house - a modest, but beautiful, well-stocked, love-filled one. We have a car. We have two, actually. We are blessed beyond measure. We are rich in so many ways, figuratively and, compared to so much of the rest of the world, literally. It's an embarrassment of riches, actually. I mean, really, our cups runneth over.
My son's rudimentary drawing is a wonderful reminder of my blessings. It makes me think of the goodness of God and the arbitrary nature of birth. Why I happened to be born to educated, middle class parents in the wealthiest nation on Earth is beyond me. I didn't do anything to deserve it. But it happened. And I'm thankful.
My children are growing up safe, comfortable, educated, loved (adored and pampered even). My children are free.
We are so very blessed.
And I've got the picture to prove it.
(Thanks, Dean, for the reminder!)