I know that summer is reaching its imminent end. Perhaps I'm "over it." I can admit it. I get sick of it. My son acts allergic to clothes, my daughters fight and snip at each other with shockingly impressive satire and comedic timing, but seriously...I'm ready for school to start.
If I'm being honest, the aforementioned points don't really factor into why I'm so frustrated and ready to not see their pretty, cherub smirks. I'm having trouble understanding not their behavior, but something deeper- Character.
I'm hoping it's about age, or stage, or the upper-middle class life they are lucky to be afforded. I truly am a little nervous it’s not just that.
This brings me to my point: My ten year old spends money on in-app purchases. She also truly believes just because her friend gets a hamster, she should. What have I done? It is bizarre because I say "no" a lot.
I suggest she give to the homeless or those less privileged. For her birthdays, she donates books. We say it. We push it. We make them aware of how blessed they are. BUT.....we buy the iPhone. She has her own computer and both my girls get beautiful dresses from boutiques in NYC. My six-year-old daughter came into my office and actually said: "It's not money; it’s just the credit card. We want to go to the candy store." (WTH?)
The tween breaks a phone and her dad takes her straight to Apple. So, do the words we say even matter? It doesn't seem so.
Let me run you down memory lane for a second. I'll give you my best version of "I used to walk four miles to school, barefoot, in winter, carrying my sibling brother and we never complained." (Ha.)
I was nineteen. I wasn't asked to do this, nor did my father see it coming. I wanted to move to Sydney. I wanted to go to university there after spending years living alone in Boston in summers and attending boarding school. I did what my daughter would do, right? Walked into his office with a scowl after not speaking to her all day, and then said: "I need your credit Card." **RECORD SCRATCH** No.
I wrote a proposal. A thirteen-page proposal full of hard-selling, some sappy comparisons and even original quotes, a poem and more. Did it work? Eventually. BUT...When I called him to see if he received the package his response, I was giddy and typical me. As he answered I started in: "You must be preeee-tttty impressed with your little girl, eh?" He said nothing, then this:
" You realize if you were pitching to get backed by a venture capitalist or investor, you couldn’t use their FedEx account to overnight YOUR proposal, right?"
He then told me he was super busy and hadn't looked at it yet, but that he would get to it in the next couple days. I literally laughed out loud remembering that now. He was so...
It worked though. I still to this day understand very clearly that the world does NOT revolve around me.
There is still time...I still hold hope and I will find new and creative ways to teach them about life and balance and work ethics.
Below are some pretty comical excerpts from my proposal. I asked myself if my own kids would do this? That's a negative ghost-rider. Pattern is full of...apathy.
The "Overkill Inspirational drivel."
The "Hard Sell" and the "Close."
I read it last night. I hadn’t read it since 1997. I think, when he died, my husband had pointed out the funny simple expense comparison that would lead one to believe it was just about the cheapest option. After reading this back, as a parent, I know without question he was proud, a little annoyed by the dripping sales-y pitch feeling, but proud that unprovoked I knew his language, and I spoke it well. Okay, not that well, as I misspelled more words that you’d think humanely possible, but if nothing else, this proposal gives me claim and proof to my kids that:
infusing effort, gratitude and real passion into anything you seek or want (even asking for an in-app purchase mod for Minecraft) is not only important, but necessary!
Buh. Sigh. Rant Complete.