The boy sat eating his cereal before bed. He slurped milk and then looked up at me. "Dad... can we get a lakehouse?"
I had actually been waiting for a question like this. It used to be... "Dad, can we get a pack of Pokemon cards?" But he is aging into an acute awareness of the have and the have nots.
We have several friends of good fortune who like to share. #1 spawn has a friend whose father is chief muckedy muck of something at a company that you would know. Last year they bought a lakehouse an hour north of us. And while #1 spawn has stayed several times, this weekend was our first trip as a family. The place is beautiful, with a big boat that was on a constant rotation of pulling kids around in inter-tubes the whole day. It was a fantastic day. A day that you remember. And as I watched the boy eat his Captain Crunch I could almost read his mind. How cool would it be to be them.
We are, at the very least, predicable. Pleasure seekers. Hardship avoiders. And that scariest of words... entitled.
I joked off the request... but it stuck with me for the rest of the night. We have volunteered before a homeless shelters... but perhaps it was time for a return trip. Just a reminder of what it is that we DO have. Instead of reminders of what we don't. The spawns are pretty well balanced for the most part. They understand the dynamics of the world better than many. But there is always room for reminders. Hell... I need it sometimes too.
There is that razor's edge on which we must all balance. The acknowledgment of what we have... and the blessings that we take so for granted on a daily basis. And the desire to continue to try for betterment. I live in an area and a circle of people whose lives revolve around keeping up with the Jones. And I sometimes like taking jabs at those that go overboard. But for the most part, the people we hang with are those that don't make a big deal of what they have... or what they don't.
It is like climbing a mountain with no summit. We get a handhold and won't let go... scared to death of having to go back down. We get so used to life the way it is right NOW... that we forget what it was like a week ago. And so we don't want change if it means losing what we have. But we desperately want change if it means getting a handhold further up the cliff.
My goal for today is to be satisfied with right now.
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