Spoiling my children is one of my favourite past times. I know it may not be doing them much favours but I think I know what I am doing. Growing up, I was pretty spoilt myself. I guess the word spoil is all relative since one man’s treasure is another man’s poison. For clarity’s sake, my version of spoilt is as follows so that we are all on the same page.
When I grew up, I could have practically anything I wanted – material goods. That included buying the whole store of Archie Comics over the years, Seventeen Mags, all the snacks that I wanted and all the books that I wanted and certainly all the clothes that I wanted whenever we did set foot into a shopping mall. My Mom was generous to a fault. It was just the nature of her. Perhaps because she didn’t have much herself. My childhood was pretty free in that I could watch all the TV that I wanted and go to my friend’s homes whenever I felt like it (as long as I told my parents where I was) and we were well fed. Seriously no complaints apart from Dad always comparing us to his other nephews and nieces who were much better than us. But that’s just a normal traditional parents kind of trait. I forgive them because I know many parents who have done just that. It is annoying and stupid but they didn’t know any better.
My kids now? They seriously get a lot of their way as well. It depends on what exactly because I do make them work to get a lot of things but stuff like where to eat or what to buy, I have been pretty relaxed. They are good kids. If they choose to eat Japanese, we go. If they want to get a book, we buy. There are no limitations because we can afford it and for that we are extremely grateful. Having said that, I have always remembered my late Mom drilling it into my head that although I was able to taste the good life then, that I must know that it could go at anytime and that we should always be grateful for our lives because so many others have nothing. I always said OK in agreement and was very aware that come tomorrow, everything could change and we could be traveling around on a motorbike, for example. Or a bus. I tell my kids the same thing. How many kids get to travel on Business? How many kids get to see snow as and when? How many kids get to have Mommy at home at their disposal? How many kids get to eat whatever they want? My kids have so much freedom of choice. The good thing is that it makes them think. For every decision, there must be thought and choice. They don’t always get their way of course, but they get a lot of what they like. And they are fully aware that I can change my mind at anytime and confiscate ANYTHING that they have. So we’re good.
I have always wondered though if someone with a terminal disease would suddenly spoil their kids more. Spoil in the sense of make them ecstatically happy in every way. Spoil with material goods if they wish but more so spoil with their own time of creating some amazing memories since they know their time is limited. We all take our lives so much for granted that we fail to spend sufficient quality time with each other. I pray parents would see this light sooner than later that our lives in this world is short. Because for what it is worth, I just know that so many parents are busy making money that the kids take a backseat. It is sad. I have never taken my own kids for granted. Yes, they drive me nuts all the time but I also know they are God’s gift and that they are on loan. Never take your kids for granted.
I don’t know if the way I spoil my kids is right or wrong or too much. What I do know is that they are not rude and that they have compassion. They have been taught to think and can probably be self sufficient if they needed to earn some money. They have that in-built Eurasian drive like me. If something needed to be done, we would get it done. Emotionally, well, they are still kids. What I do is spoil them with unconditional love. I am sure I am judged as a Mother but what to do? My kids are happy, my family are happy, and we have not hurt anyone intentionally or within our knowledge, nor cheated a single person in this world, so I guess our karma is pretty damn good. Just let us be. If I want to spoil my kids, please let us be. We have worked really hard to be where we are today and we deserve every bit of happiness that we enjoy. Everyone can have this freedom. It is just a matter of putting things to action so that you can have the rest of your lives free from limitations.
I was explaining to the kids today just why they needed to always keep their minds open to learning. We were deciding what to eat and one of the restaurants had a seriously long queue. What if that was the only restaurant we could afford? What if we were starving? We would then have to join the rest and queue along and wait, tired, irritated, hungry. But because we have enough, we can choose to go to any of the other more expensive restaurants. Freedom like this is a blessing and with such freedom, we must always give back to those who cannot afford. Because God is always fair. And so we must.
They got it.
I am blessed. Thank you.