I've spent at least the last week lamenting the fact that my children do not understand how lucky they are. I've been talking about service projects or some way to show my children how good their life is. They say "thank you for all I have" each night during prayers but it's become something they say from memory rather than something more heartfelt. N believes not having a play date any time she'd like is a hardship and C is pretty sure that a "hard life" would be life with no video games.
I still haven't found a project to commit to yet but sometimes it takes just a moment to realize how lucky you are.
Another military wife who has a son in Taekwondo class with my son is often my reminder of how good my life really is.
While I wonder if my husband will leave work early enough to catch C's Taekwondo class, her husband is serving his second tour in Iraq.
After struggling to get my two kids in the car in time to get C to class in his uniform, I sometimes get a little frazzled. Until I get there and overhear her telling someone, "We have a really good life. I'm just a little tired today." (She has 5 boys and lives much further from the school.)
On Tuesday, she asked how I was doing and I grinned. "Both my kids are in school now, I'm great!"
"Have your boys started school yet?" I asked her.
She looked more tired than usual so I asked if everything else was going OK. She responded that it had been tough lately. I tried to remember when her husband was due back and thinking it should be September, I mentioned that at least it shouldn't be too much longer until she had the hubby back, right?
That's when I learned he'd been in a recent Blackhawk crash. He survived but lost many friends. He has recommendations to be sent home but others are trying to keep him there--they need pilots.
When I asked what I could do to give her a hand, she couldn't think of anything so I offered to at least have one or all of her boys over to my house to play (and give her a break). With that offer, her eyes lit up. Only one of her boys, M, is in C's class and the others don't really know my son. However, she said that M was having the hardest time dealing with everything and would probably love the diversion!
So we had him over yesterday. He is her adopted son. The only reason I mention that is because of a conversation he had with my son on the drive to our house. M asked about the gear shift on the floor of my car (I guess mom's Suburban has it on the steering wheel). He mentioned that his dad used to have a car like that.
My son (also 5 yrs old) turned to look at him.
"What did he do with the car?"
"He gave it to my old mom."
My son's eyes doubled in size. "Old mom?"
"Yeah. I live with my new mom now. One time, when we were waiting in the car, I said I just want my real mom but my brothers said that their mom is my mom."
"You have a new mom?" My son is still trying to comprehend this when he gets the next answer.
"Yep. Not wicked mom. She spanks us with a belt."
When the playdate ended yesterday, M told C that he is lucky. Why? Because C has video games.