One of the best aspects of my job is that I am willingly invited into people's homes. I am a home visitor. I go into homes and meet the family on their turf, where they are most comfortable, and ask questions about their family system. While there are things that I really, really dislike about working, expanding my knowledge base and love of learning isn't one ot them.
It is amazing to see the different things people value as important in their home and in reflection, what I consider important myself. I'm learning a lot about my beliefs. I don't have this parenting thing all figured out yet. Maybe I never will.
I think I was acutely aware of the priviledged plate from which my children dine but it is becoming more and more obvious as I enter more and more homes.
My kids have a lot. My kids are given a lot. They have no idea how much.
As an example, let's examine this past week. Last weekend, we traveled to Wichita to attend the Air Show. While the show (and Grandma and Grandpa's house) was free, the gas back and forth across Kansas was not. As if you didn't already know: gas is super expensive. On Sunday, we went to the pumpkin patch. While the patch was free, the pumpkins were not. We bought a lot of pumpkins.
Yesterday, we participated in a Zombie Walk through downtown. The zombie walk was free, but the dinner we dined out on was not. (Don't worry. More pictures are coming. Braaaaains.)
Tomorrow we are all running in the ColorRun. We paid a lot of money to enter this race. In my head, I like to justify this cost as a donation to a good cause. (Truthfully I have no idea what cause the ColorRun is even supporting. Let's pretend it's the Democratic party, eh Grandpa?) In total, we donated 100 BONES for a couple of t-shirts and an afternoon of family fun.
What is the point of all this? I'm not really sure. In one week's time, Matt and I have showered our kids with car trips to see airplanes, pumpkins, zombies, and an expensive run through colored chalk. Does doing all this stuff make them better people? Why are we driving, and going, and doing, and spending, and giving?
Simon, Bennett, and Cora Jane's lives are one good thing, one more fun activity, after another. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, slide. We have no room for dirty houses or crunchy kitchen floors or bad attitudes. It's fun all the time! We like it! We thrive on activites!
When I go into a home for the first time, (knock on wood) I'm never surpised to see that each family loves their kids just as much as I love mine. The clean houses and the dirty ones. The English speakers and the non-English speakers. The high incomes and the low incomes. The highly, highly educated and the not.
Maybe I am just naive or really lucky but (so far) all my families want is the very best for their kids which, consequently, is all that I want too.