I was reminded recently of a quote:
When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, “Oh yes – I already have everything that I really need.” – Dalai Lama
It’s so infinitely easy to get caught up in what you’re doing that you forget what you’re doing it all for. As a parent, you want more for your child than you ever wanted for yourself. I scour everything I can to figure out what I can get for the little guy. Toys, walkers, activity centers, you name it. But I’ve been wondering lately whether I’m getting all this stuff because of my guilt for not being around. Buying his love, so to speak.
Not that he needs more. The house is overflowing with all the various knick knacks I’ve procured along the way. I once told CS that babies don’t need all these toys, that it doesn’t actually help with their development. I used to think, I won’t buy him any toys. But I’ve found myself singing a different tune these days.
We often talk about how little our parents had and how much they were still able to provide for us. Growing up, we rarely got to eat out at restaurants. We didn’t go on many vacations. Clothes, in fact, were hand made and sewn. Everything they did was for us. I think about how much more we have than our parents, and how we can and should provide exponentially more for our children.
So maybe the difference is that I’m not trying to buy Ollie’s love, but to provide as much as I can. I want to give him the world. I don’t think these material things will define him, but I hope he sees that he is lucky because he is loved not because of what he has. And I hope that when he has kids, he’ll want to do the same and give them everything too.
It’ll be an unending circle of giving, if it all works out.