I wouldn't consider us materialistic people at all. We shop at thrift stores, we don't have a lot of unnecessary stuff. We don't have to have the newest or the latest thing. We have a house full of antiques, but mostly because they were hand me downs or inexpensive purchases. We rarely hit the malls and aren't big on shopping.
This Fiscal Fast we're on caused some troubles today on the home front. Young One was out of sorts all day. I had planned a day of fun freebies. A trip to the library, to hang out and look at some of the ginormous books that we'd never carry home (or be allowed to check out). I thought we'd pick a few movies, maybe check out a museum pass (basically free entrance to many of the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area museums), and take out a few movies. Young One wanted none of this. He pouted, chose one Simpsons DVD, and then glowered from an armchair behind a giant Spiderman book. I nixed the idea of heading to a free museum. I didn't want to deal with the PoutMaster all day long.
We had planned to make our gingerbread house, an annual tradition, this weekend. But, it was a hard sell. I mixed the dough myself and put it in the refrigerator to chill. Time for a mother son talk.
Basically, he told me that he was sick of this no spending money thing. That he wanted to go out and do something fun and that most definitely involved spending money. That Christmas couldn't come fast enough and he just wanted to buy a video game or go to the movies, or go to an arcade, or go out for lunch at some kid paradise. And he knew he couldn't. And it sucked.
This opened the door to a very interesting conversation. We talked about how fun can be had without money. That we have a house full of things to do and that if we get bored enough, we'll get resourceful and start finding things to do. We talked about how much money we have spent in the past without even thinking about it and that we have to be more mindful of our spending. We talked about how we're very fortunate to have all that we do and to have the income that Dad brings home. We talked about what it would be like to have nothing.
We talked about how we'd like to share our abundance.
We talked about how long it is until Christmas. And how, even as an adult, it's difficult to wait for things. We also talked about how time seems a lot longer when you're a kid and how I could remember what an eternity it could be until your birthday or Christmas.
We talked about the superiority of Rock Band over Guitar Hero.
We talked about Homer Simpson's obsession with donuts.
And then, we talked about how keeping busy will help the time pass. And we talked about the importance of discussing our feelings and how pouting and grumping around doesn't work very well. We talked about the importance of communication.
Then he and his dad went out and had some man time, drooling at ginormous TVs, and playing demos of video games. I baked the gingerbread house pieces while they were out and thought long and hard about whether we really are materialistic. Maybe we've been in denial all along?
Taking a little time to play with words, to play with food, and just to play!