A couple of days ago, in a tired-induced mini-fit, Molly complained that she didn't have any candy to eat on the bus. She insisted that all of the other kids ate candy on the bus and that she felt very left out. I told her that I understand that it must be very frustrating to be candyless when everybody else is eating sweets all the time, but that we eat healthy foods in our family and that's just the way that it is. Even though I've told her a million times, I said that candy is a special treat and not something that we eat every day. She continued to cry and fuss about her lack of candy, but she got over it by the time we got home.
Later that evening, we were working on the gift baskets that we are giving to many of our friends and family members for Christmas this year. Molly was helping me scoop potato soup mixes into baby food jars (which are the perfect size for a single serving) and decorating the the jars with stickers and curly ribbon. She tells me, "You know mom, most people just go out and buy Christmas Gifts." I agree with this observation, and she continues, "But I figured it out mom: We don't eat candy and we don't buy Christmas gifts -- We're just not like other families."
We aren't like other families. We aren't involved in a million activities, we eat supper together as a family every night, we often go all day without turning on the television, we value experiences over possessions so have relatively few possessions compared to other people, we reuse things whenever we can, we make things instead of buying them, and we don't eat candy very often. I know how difficult it is for a child to feel different than her peers, but I hope that the quality of the time we spend together will make up for the fact that we are no where near to keeping up with the Jones'. And that evening, as we were laughing and singing and curling ribbon around baby food jars, we had more definitely enjoyed our time together much more than those kids on the bus enjoy their candy.