This weekend we took a trip to the big city -- Portland. We were after something special, something exciting. And because we haven't been anywhere for a while we decided to make a true weekend of it and spend the night.
Now, though the weekend was good, my children exhibited some untoward behavior. Specifically begging, whining and moaning. They wanted gelato but we insisted on eating real food first. After dinner we settled on Baskin and Robbins as the gelato bar was across town. Ice cream served. Problem solved. Only it wasn't.
The next morning after hot chocolate, donuts, candy bars *and* pancakes with MnM's the girls once again asked for gelato. After all their wish had not been granted the day before. And they were hungry (can you say protein starved?). The answer to gelato? No, No and NO!
Clearly we'd already overindulged on sweets. The girls were acting up. The sugar trend had to stop.
Tears ensued. I got angry. If you can not appreciate the things you have, the things you've been given, then you do not deserve any more treats -- ever!
And I meant it. Their lack of appreciation, their ingratitude, made me want to cut them off completely; strip down their rooms, allow them a mattress, a single outfit and bread and butter on a tray. What right did they have to beg? To cry? They have so much. They have been given so much.
I was sitting high and mighty in the driver's seat, having just laid down the law, when it hit me. I, too, am culpable. Why in the world would the Universe want to grant me anything when all I do is moan about what I don't have? Why indeed.
Because you see, though I have dreams, fantasies, I have a great life. And, truth-be-told, I don't always appreciate it. So I'm working on tempering my dreams with a healthy dose of grateful reality. I can not shut off desire (at least not at this juncture) but I can foster appreciation.
So today I drove through the farmlands of the Hood River Valley. I marveled at the gorgeous red barns, the fields of pear, the bee boxes and the chickens. I marveled at it all and then I came home and marveled at what is.
My girls clucking in the backyard. The labradork. My happy, healthy, albeit argumentative children. Mr. Peculiar. My house. My yard. Coffee. Gainful employment. All the beautiful things that I more oft than not forget to appreciate.
So thank you. Thank you Universe for all I have been given and all the things to come. Indeed I am one lucky girl.