So much to say/write/try to explain and not a clue where to start. A few weeks ago I got an email from the Salvation Army regarding the Christmas toy drive they do and if I would like to come ‘shop’ for the kids. I guess they had my name on their list from last year when the school gave out the info and I had called to see what it was about. I remember sitting in my car holding the paper with nerves like crazy feeling like such a failure for making that first call, but it was the start of this whole journey. Last year, they asked a few unobtrusive questions to see things like how many kids I had, what ages they were and then signed me up for a time slot so I could come pick out a few gifts for them for Christmas. It was a beautiful thing for my family because I otherwise couldn’t afford the things they received for Christmas and it really made their holidays special.
So fast forward to the email I received the other day from them saying they had the toy drive set up again, and what day would I like to come ‘shop’ for the kids?
Ok. Part of me…most of me, is like this is super awkward and I don’t need this. Probably mainly the stubborn part of me which is thinking that I can provide a fantastic Christmas on my own and I don’t need any help. But the truth is, obviously I’m struggling. And yes help would be great. But it’s embarrassing to have to admit that the only way my kids can have a amazing holiday is with other peoples help. That I can’t do it all my own. But as I thought it through I admitted that I can’t put my pride in the way of my kids happiness. If there is something available to them, I have to step aside and let them have it.
So I got in touch with the Salvation Army lady and set up a date for myself to go in to ‘shop’ for the kids. By shop I mean they let you come in and pick out a few things that you think your kids would like.
Well, yesterday she gave me a call and asked me if I would like our family to be sponsored for Christmas? I asked her what that meant and she explained that they have a few families/couples that sponsor people for Christmas which means they fill a hamper for them with supplies for Christmas dinner as well as food for a bit and Christmas gifts. She’d have to call me back since there’s a list she needs to go through since she’d like to get specifics about what our family likes. I.E. Coffee or Tea, smooth peanut butter or crunchy etc, as well as what kind of things are the kids into? Then this couple that she will match us with likes to do theirs anonymously so she will drop the hamper off herself.
I was like, how could I say no? This is the finest line between being blessed and feeling offended but I have to let my feelings go and move on with a blessed life, not only for my kids but also for myself. I think what my thing/problem is, is that I know there are people in the world who are worse off than me. Obviously. I’ve lived in some shitty places. I’ve seen some shitty things. I’ve EXPERIENCED some shitty things. So I know this isn’t the lowest it can get. I know our life doesn’t suck THAT bad, in comparison to the world’s standards. But if when people come to visit my house they bring food. Or if we’re being chosen for things like this… than maybe we’re at the bottom of the bucket for first world standards. Any this currently is being offered to the people in those other shitty situations. This is being offered to me. So I guess, by Canadian opinions. I live a shitty life 🙁
I know it’s not that I haven’t tried my best. It’s not because I’m out drinking every weekend, or ever. I’m not spending all our money on crack or any drugs for that matter. I don’t even smoke weed anymore for my headaches but even that, I got free. I keep a nice clean house. I don’t bring randos in the house all the time, or throw party’s every weekend/ever. I pay the mortgage on time everytime. In fact that goes for all our bills. I home cook all our meals to save money apart from every few months when maybe I had a seizure that past night so I’m just wiped, so I order pizza. I’m not going to the spa or getting my nails done. Heck I just bought a new bra for my birthday for the first time in over 4 years as a gift to myself. But society still sees me at the bottom in need of help. And I am. I can’t afford to put my kids in any type of lesson or camp. We don’t do extra curricular things. The trip to Edmonton for thanksgiving was a huge vacation for us at almost $600 and it was my kids first plane ride since Kenya almost 8 years ago.
So maybe the Salvation Army is right. Maybe I’m not as good off as I thought. Financially. I guess I didn’t realize it though because my kids are happy. When they come home from school and we sit together at the table and eat a homemade dinner, and we all share the best and worst thing that happened to us that day, we communicate. We dialogue. We may be at the bottom of the barrel as far as money goes, but that’s not the most important thing in our household. We don’t spend all our time with expensive items. We spend our time with each other. We have family game night. We play cards and board games. I listen to Z teach. I watch E play his video games and hear him laugh at me while I attempt to play them as well. We play basketball together and Z hula hoops. E makes dinner sometimes and Z dances in the living room. We read like crazy. Our house is loud and annoying but at least we aren’t always glued to a tv. We have conversations about what they learned at school and what is wrong about what they were taught or the holes in it. We practice division and handstands. We weed the yard and water plants.
I’m doing my best to raise well rounded humans. I may not send them off into the world with a loaded bank account or a house and car already at their disposal. But I think I’m doing the best I can. So looking back, if someone else wants to use their loaded bank account to supplement our Christmas… I’m not going to allow myself to feel guilty about it. I’m going to accept it with peace and continue on my route raising my kids how I am and let the world fall into place as it is.
Mama / Spice Girls