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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell

The watch and the teddy bear

14 year old had 4 impacted wisdom teeth pulled today.  He has been looking forward to the surgery and his two days off school.  This evening I asked if the day was what he expected.  He looked at me with puffy, bruised cheeks and said, "Not really - it hurts."  That statement is really about the only complaining he has done.  Therefore, when 10 year old brother saw 14 year old eating pudding and ice-cream and milkshakes 10 year old said, "That's not fair!"  I told 10 year old that when he has his wisdom teeth pulled he can have unlimited pudding and ice-cream too.  10 year old's next concern, "What if I don't need my wisdom teeth pulled?"

When I was in college I would have lengthy discussions with my Educational Philosophy professor.  One day I was telling him about an economically "unfair" situation between my siblings and I - my parents were paying for something for two of my brothers that I was paying for for myself.  He asked me, "If you ever have kids and one wants a $15 teddy-bear for Christmas and the other wants a $100 watch what would you do?"  I told him that I would buy the watch for the one and the teddy bear plus $85 worth of other items for the other."  My professor said, "But all that child wanted was a teddy bear!"  I said, "It wouldn't be fair to spend $100 on one and only $15 on the other."  My professor restated, "One child wanted a watch and got a watch - the other wanted a teddy bear and got a teddy bear, how is that not fair?"  I did not understand how this conversation applied to the situation with me and my siblings.  He asked, "Do you want your parents to pay your way?"  No, I liked the independence of paying my own way.  I just didn't want my parents paying for my brothers.  My professor helped me realize that my parents were helping each child in the way that best suited each child.  That single conversation has had a long lasting effect on my view of what fair means and my understanding that fair is not always equal.  Someday I'll ask my now 10 year old, "If you have kids and one wants a $15 teddy bear...." And, someday my now 10 year old will learn that there is a painful price for unlimited ice-cream, pudding and milkshakes.

Kids these days...

For some reason my 10-year old has taken to saying, "Kids these days...." I want to laugh each time he does it because he sounds like a little grandpa but he's so sweetly serious that I refrain.   Today he said, "Kids these days think $4.00 is not very much money."  I asked why he thought this.  He said at school some kids were saying that a bag of pixie sticks "only cost $4.00!".  I said, "Well $4.00 is a lot to me."  He said, "Me too, because of you.  You make $1.00 seem like a lot of money."  Well, I try - glad he noticed. 

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