You may have read about our kids’ financial strategies. If not, you might like to check it out as it’s a great template (my husband is a wealth manager) for guiding kids. I can honestly say that I am learning right alongside my kids, and this week was no different. As I gathered the children to hand out their allowance, we took some time to count out how much spending money each has. It didn’t take long before they were shouting out all the things they were going to buy for themselves and each other- and giving away how little they understand about market value! Samuel is determined to save up for a dirt bike, so he’s begun researching bikes, watching videos of kid competitors, learning about horse power and helmets, and calculating how long it will take to save up his allowance or how many dogs he and his brother would need to walk as part of their business, The Mutt Strut Brothers.
Nine-year old Silas had his heart set on something different- a dozen donuts. Yup, he stood up tall and said with deep conviction and determination I’m gonna buy a dozen donuts.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to applaud him for his resoluteness, laugh at his ridiculousness, or lecture him about his nutritional choices! Thankfully, this conversation happened on the heels of another conversation, one with my mentor, where we were discussing ways we might hold back from asking God for things because we judge the requests as silly, bad, wrong, not important enough, too big and impossible, blah blah blah. I walked away from that phone call with the encouragement to simply ask God for gifts, trusting that our requests don’t have to ‘pass a test’ and believing that he may not judge things the way we do. We can share our desires like a kid in the presence of a safe and loving parent. A no judgement zone.
So when Silas confidently said he wanted a dozen donuts, I did my best to remain supportive. I did, however, suggest that perhaps eating a dozen donuts in one sitting wouldn’t be too great for his health, but that he could probably splurge on two donuts. This sounded good to him, and so later that night, once everyone was asleep, we snuck out for a late night donut date. Taking him out late at night occasionally has been something I’ve wanted to do as a way to affirm and celebrate his age and growing maturity, and it was awesome! On the drive, he chose the music (Coldplay), we talked about making it to one of their concerts one day together, and he said in a voice beyond his 9 years when I grow up, these are the kinds of things I want to do with my kids. I want to be a good dad and I want to carry on our name. He’s 9, folks! My heart was so overwhelmed with love for this boy that I lifted a silent request to God as we drove- God, please give my son a gift. He’s just awesome!
When we got to Dunkin Donuts, Silas thought long and hard (and out loud) about what 2 donuts he’d like to purchase with his spending money, tapping his index finger to his chin and counting and recounting his money, before settling on a vanilla frosted and a chocolate frosted. He also asked what kind of donuts Papa had liked when he was alive and if I’d like a donut a well. The cashier, patiently watching this 9:30 pm process, was so…enamored? impressed? amused?… by Silas that he said with a big smile, You know what? How about I just give you a dozen donuts on the house. Which would you like?
A dozen donuts! The exact thing he wanted at the very beginning of this whole thing, which I had talked him out of out, was now being handed to him for free!And perhaps the best part- he saved them until the next morning so he could share them with his siblings. Most of the life lessons I’m learning have been dished out to me by my kids, and this one was especially meaningful. I was reminded that our desires are just that- desires, and they don’t have to be right or wrong or anything else. I saw that I don’t have to know how to parent my kids or make all the right decisions, but I can walk alongside them as we figure it out together. I was moved by the kindness of God to give my son a gift as I had asked, and in a way that was so specific to him. I was glad I made the effort to give this time to my son at 9pm, when really what I wanted to do was stay in my Epsom salt bath with my La Croix reading my book! I would’ve missed out on this.
So, taking my kids’ lead, here are some of my wants without judgement.
- A beautiful home that can serve our family for generations
- A new (clean) van or SUV that doesn’t feel like a Mom Mobile
- A fun hobby
- Time for said hobby
- Continued improved health & fitness
- A housemaid who could help tidy up the house and fold laundry nightly so I could have more relaxed playtime with the kids and my husband
- The extinction of mosquitos
- A pair of gold hoop earrings
- To go to a Coldplay Concert with Silas
- A good Thai restaurant to open up in my area
- My dad to talk to me in my dreams
- To adopt more children
- To travel abroad with my family
- A Nanny
- A chiropractor who would make house calls
- An updated wardrobe
- My children to grow up healthy and with growing wisdom and life skills
- A tutor to help me homeschool my kids
What are the things you want? The wishes that might feel silly or impossible or shameful? If you’re willing, I’d love to hear them!
UPDATE: As I was hitting “Publish” for this post, a long-distance friend was hitting “Send” to a text headed my way. It said, “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3. How’s THAT for timing?!