A little while ago, I bought my daughter Amira a set of toy groceries that I found on sale. When I got home, I quickly realized that the toys were deeply discounted for a reason. Twenty of the “groceries” were individual plastic potato chips. There were cardboard toy juice cartons held together with flimsy scotch tape, and several funny looking hot dog-type things. I was utterly disappointed with the whole package.
Amira, on the other hand, loved them. She doesn’t care if her toys are made of cheap plastic. She doesn’t care if her grocery kit is heavy on potato chips, crackers and hot dogs. She doesn’t care if the colours are not as vibrant as the toys in the more expensive kits. She just doesn’t care.
So why do I?
I guess I have been living under a blanket of misconception that tells me that if she doesn’t have the best of everything, her childhood will be lacking and it will be my fault. This blanket makes me feel guilty for saddling her with the cheap toys, even though she doesn’t give a hoot, and it makes me feel like I’ll never do enough for her, have enough for her, or provide enough for her.
However, the biggest problem with this messy, suffocating, blanket is that it focuses all on THINGS. Things to buy, things to have, things to accumulate and things that, at the end of the day, she doesn’t care that much about.
Amira doesn’t live under the same blanket of misconception that I do. She lives under a blanket of love and security provided by two parents who love her unconditionally and support her unendingly. Her blanket is woven together with the threads of family and friends who give her their time, energy and adoration. Her blanket lets her breath, grow, and learn with the tools around her – trees, grass, blankets, pots and pans, and even cheap plastic toys. She isn’t concerned with the price tag. She just wants to play.