The Loss of Gratitude
Ceci earned a mommy-daughter date. She’d worked her rear-end off in good behavior and I had a special surprise planned. Because I am obsessed as much as my girls, we brought Kit Kittredge to the local American Girl store so she could get her nails painted. Ceci was also allowed to pick out a small item. And no, Cec, Kit’s bedroom set is not in any way small. Then we walked around the mall. We played at the Lego store, The Disney Store, the mall play place. We ate at the food court, did the merry-go-round, ate ice cream. It was all about her. She chose it all.
We got in the car at the end of the day. I don’t remember now what it was that Miss Cec wanted, but I do know the answer was “no.”
And. She. THREWAFIT.
Not the screaming, crying one. That would have been bad enough.
It was the talking kind of fit. The kind I imagine parents of teenage girls grow used to.
Big breaths. Blinks. Straight-ahead, eyes-on-the-road stares.
Remember, she’s four. She’s an emotion human. She’s tired.
I was doing some seriously self-talk on not losing my head.
Eventually, my over-reactive offspring came down off her anger-high. She was sorry, she loved me. Didn’t Kit’s nails look cute?
Eye roll from the driver’s seat.
Isn’t one of the most frustrating experiences as an adult working with kids (parents, teachers, grandparents, coaches) when they lack gratitude?
Like after a special surprise or gift, after Christmas day or on a well-planned much-anticipated vacation?
Ugh. We just did so much for them. And they want more?
Wait a minute now.
Let’s take a look at me.
I have my Kate Spade (gush) purse and wallet. And I want a watch and a bracelet.
I have a home with plenty of space. And I want to finish my basement.
I have beautiful decorations for that home. And I want a wreath for each season and table runners galore.
I have a closet full of clothes and shoes. And I want some navy pumps and black flats.
I have three beautiful, talented, smart children.
I have a supportive, intelligent, funny and faith-filled hubby.
I received an education, live in a good neighborhood, belong to a faith-community, have privilege galore.
And I want more.
There’s a book that the girls and I love. It’s called Bear Wants More. Super cute, entertaining to read out loud. Anyway, this bear eats more than any reasonable animal would and then can’t fit through the door of his home. And then he eats more. And his friends (who threw a party for him) are left without anything.
What a jerk.
But what about my friends? The ones on the street? The ones in the bad neighborhoods with no AC and bars on the windows? The ones across seas, with distended bellies and wide eyes? The ones with no books to read and crumbling schools?
While I shop on Amazon and place item after item in on my wish list.
I get it. I get why God deemed this wanting more as being sinful. And as annoyed as I was with Cec for her show of ungrateful behavior, I am doing the same thing.
Ceci is to me as I am to God.
She is my child and I want her to be happy with the things I provide.
I am a child of God and He wants me to be happy for things he provides.
So, maybe I need to think the next time I want. It’s something I’ll struggle with, always. I can begin, though, by not being disappointed by God’s answer of “no.” And I can begin by showing my gratitude for the many, many blessings in my life.
For I am, truly and wholly, thankful.