As most of you know, I am the youngest of three children. I often enjoyed my role as the baby of the family, but there were times it wasn't as fun. One time, for example, was when my older brother and sister made up a song about how I was only worth $0.99. It sounds really cruel. Kids can be harsh, can't they? But, it stuck with me all these years and it probably keeps me grounded when I need it most. We'll chalk it up to a life lesson. I promise I'm not bitter.
Let me explain. We didn't grow up with much money. In fact, we were pretty poor. So, that forced you to be resourceful with things. Most of my clothes were hand-me-downs from my sister and there were always brand-name things we wanted, but would never own because we simply couldn't afford them. Also, there were many toys my mom couldn't just go and buy upon our request. One of those toys was a Barbie car. I always wanted one and never had one. It wasn't a priority so I just didn't get it. Incidentally, I used a shoebox for a Barbie car. I thought it was clever. My siblings thought it was dumb and added that to a verse in the song about me only being worth 99 cents.
I guess at some point I told one of my friends this story. Fast forward several months later when she tells me she has a Christmas present for me. I open this:
That story about me not having a Barbie car stuck with her and she wanted to be sure I didn't go my entire life without one. I love it! I will share it with Nola one day, of course. What I really love about this is that it represents so much more than a toy.
First of all, it shows she actually listened to me. I know I'm personally guilty of being in such a hurry at times that I don't truly listen to what the person is saying. I physically hear them, but am not actively listening and participating in the conversation. How thoughtful of her to listen, remember and think of me months later.
Also, I've said since I became pregnant with Nola that "I want to give her everything she needs, but not everything she wants." As a child, I didn't need this Barbie car. I needed food, shelter, love, etc. I received those things, but I did not receive everything I wanted. So, I found myself thinking many years down the road. I'm at the store with Nola and she's begging me for something she thinks she needs. I hope this car will be a reminder to Dell and I to never spoil her with things, but only with love and attention. Because I think I've turned out alright and I know she will too.