Facebook let me know that I wrote this one year ago today. I still feel as strongly now as I did then; even more so.
Isaac is now a couple weeks away from 5 years old and I turned 50 in June with pride.
One Year Ago Today I Wrote:
Isaac's 4th birthday is coming in the next couple of weeks and it makes me reflect on how my own values and priorities have changed since arriving in Ecuador.
Last year's birthday for him was a fun time where family and friends celebrated him and his birthday. Singing, games, photos. food. The emphasis was not on 'stuff'. It was on family, people and in particular the birthday boy was made to feel special.
He certainly received a few gifts; a t-shirt, shoes, coloring book and crayons. Very practical items, nothing over the top.
His favorite part was the piñata that the children love to have at their birthdays; it causes a dull roar the minute the candies come flying out and once they hit the floor, it is utter chaos.
As I think about what to 'get him' I also have to think certainly Randy and I can afford to buy him 'over the top' stuff. But what purpose would that serve? I seen his eyes light up over a new pair of shoes.
Why embarrass anyone by going over the top? Why teach this young soul to covet things rather than relationships?
When children learn to covet things, the expectations become unreasonable, they come to expect more, bigger, better each year becomes a competition to match or exceed the last.
I seen it with my own son, the look of disappointment if the latest and greatest was not under the tree. I created that, me and only me; my priorities were different back then.
I don't want to play into that anymore. I don't think it does the child, society or families any good to covet and collect things. More is not better, bigger is not better, higher priced and more things do not equate to 'you are loved more'.
When is enough, enough?
I am going to follow their lead. I am going to spend a few hours of my time with him to make him feel special, share a meal, buy him a pair of new shoes and I believe both of us will come out of that day feeling good about ourselves and what we are teaching each other.
Little Isaac will be 4 soon, I will be 50 soon....we are never too young or too old to learn.