Since I’ve been spending so much time focused on school and my own sanity, I have not been as focused on work as I need to be if I want to make money. Fortunately I’m blessed to be in a situation where it isn’t a dire situation (thanks, mom). But there are things that i miss — like spoiling Caleb with extras. I miss the ability to escape to a coffeeshop when i need a break. I miss the financial freedom of going out with friends.
This year, i was particularly worried about Christmas. I’ve been working really hard on steering Caleb AWAY from video games and into other things. There are two areas he is discovering he is equally as obsessed over as video games: cooking and music. Due to his impulsivity, i’m hesitant to introduce him to too much in the kitchen just yet. And instruments can be pricey — particularly to purchase for a 6 year old who may or may not end up being all THAT interested in it, after all. My first thought was to get the cheap kiddie-style instruments, but decided that idea was wrong for so many reasons: first of all, if i’m going to hear awful noise coming from my child’s room, i’d like there to be a *chance* for it to sound good someday. Also, i think that not having the genuine article might end up not drumming up the desired enthusiasm necessary for the stick-to-it-iveness necessary for learning anything worthwhile.
It occurred to me that I had an almost full-size keyboard *somewhere* in the garage, and a guitar that needed to be restrung and a general tune-up. I convinced Caleb’s dad to get him bongos for Christmas (to remain at my house, of course — i wouldn’t subject anyone else to the possible torture that is inevitable). I decided to dust off the keyboard and purchase a wall adapter for it since that had disappeared into the black hole. The guitar will wait until his birthday. It was still fairly humbling. I felt like i was *cheating* at Christmas gift-giving.
Of course, Caleb still got video games for Christmas. There’s no avoiding that since I cannot control what other people (particularly Santa) purchase for him. He ended up with a pretty damn good Christmas. I knew that there would be immediate excitement over the instruments, but figured it might wear off quickly. He has zero interest in lessons. He likes us to play the bongos while he plays the piano. He’s trying to play things by ear — and doing a pretty decent job. I’m enjoying every.moment.of.it.
This morning, as we were on our way to school he said with great enthusiasm, “I can’t WAIT to tell my friends about my keyboard!! They won’t believe it!!!!” I was stunned. It wasn’t the video games. It wasn’t the cool legos he asked for (and got). It was the present he got out of my desperation to make it a good Christmas for him even though i couldn’t afford to buy him much.
I’m so grateful that the last year led me to a place of such desperation — financially and emotionally. It’s easy to do simple when it’s all you have. Hopefully we can keep it that way. 😉