Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the day superman taught me how rich we truly are


{Pictures from a totally unrelated but beautiful afternoon recently spent at Champoeg State Park}

I was standing at the sink, doing dishes, and Sam was running around the kitchen in his Superman costume.  He was rambling on {per usual} about this & that as I nodded my head, adding in the occasional "mmhmm" as my mind wandered.

"We are?" he asked, his tone was seeking confirmation on a question that I had just apparently unknowingly answered.

"Are we what?" I asked.

"Rich."

I chuckled.  "Oh, no.  We're not rich," I quickly answered.   Silly boy.  Don't you know that our soon to be family of four lives in a two bedroom townhouse?  That we drive two used cars, both of which are nearly 10 years old.  That our student loans currently far outweigh our assets and only continue to grow.  Oh, no.  We are not rich.

"We're not??" he asked with a look of surprise on his face.  "But look at all this food in your pantry.  We don't have that much food back on my planet," he stated, falling back into his Superman alter ego.

His simple observation stopped me dead in my tracks.  While he spoke of Krypton, a fictitious world, I couldn't help but think that those same words could accurately come from the lips of the majority of people on our planet.

My pantry shelves are a constant menace due to the cereal boxes always creeping into the cracker-designated-zone, and the way the pastas and rice just can't seem to help themselves from spilling over into the canned goods space.  You see, those shelves are always overflowing with food.  We always have enough to eat.  Never do I worry that I won't be able to relieve my child's tiniest twinge of hunger.  But it doesn't stop there...

Silly Christine, don't you know that our family lives in a lovely, warm, safe, two bedroom townhouse?  {My, how quickly you have forgotten the family of six in Honduras that shares a single hammock each night, strung across the dirt floor of their one room home.}  Don't you know that you have two, count them, TWO, reliable, comfortable cars by which you can transport your family?  Don't you know that you and your husband have had the opportunity to live in a country where you can choose your future, where you can borrow money to invest in your education?  Don't you know that you are infinitely richer than the majority of the world?  Don't you know that you shouldn't get too caught up in your first world problems or the first world's definition of richness and wealth {and this is not even touching on the non-monetary aspects of richness}?  Silly Christine, can't you see?

"Oh.  Yes, I guess we are rich."

And with that, he smiled at me, having gotten the answer that he already knew, and scampered off into the living room, his red cape whipping at his ankles.


4 comments:

  1. wow, that is so awesome! who says kids can't teach us? love this post!

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  2. It's funny the things our kids teach us :)

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  3. I love that perspective. I like being rich instead of feeling poor.

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  4. Such wise words from such a young mind. So true.

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