“I have a special treat for you,” I said, showing Madeline a bobbing helium balloon.
“Oh! Thank you!”
She smiled and took the balloon, but then my little material girl asked, “Something else, too?”
What? My not-even-three-year-old was no longer happy with just a balloon?
My baby certainly was. She smiled, watching the silvery Mylar globe dance around the room and giggled when I tugged at the blue string and made it gently pop her on the nose.
Madeline, meanwhile, was scribbling away in a coloring book.
By the next day the balloon had already lost most of its helium. I watched it slowly drift along, looking sad and forlorn, and I felt like my hopes for raising an unspoiled child were just as deflated.
Though, not so long ago I remember flipping through the thick holiday Sears catalogue and being bedazzled by all of the playthings displayed on its glossy pages. I remember, too, that while my parents taught me that while there was nothing inherently wrong in having or wanting things (provided you worked for them), you had to guard against becoming too attached to material goods. How? By always showing gratitude and by sharing your blessings with others.
I’m trying to teach my children similar lessons.
Read the rest here.
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