“Nice place you got here!”
My toddler stands in our driveway, hands on hips, nodding appreciatively as he surveys our house.
“Why thank you, Kind Sir!” I reply, suppressing a giggle at this real estate connoisseur in a Pull-Up.
“Is it OUR house?” he asks, turning and squinting at me earnestly.
“Yes, it is,” I answer, deciding that it’s not the time to quibble about property ownership vs. tenancy.
D, at age three, wants to know what’s what.
Often he asks me why we have to have a house, and I tell him that we need shelter from the sun and the rain and the heat and the cold, and that we’re so lucky to have it. I tell him that we have beds to sleep in, and they’re comfy and safe… I tell him that, if we didn’t have those things, life would be pretty hard for us.
There seems to be some comfort for him in the repetition of these questions and the reassurance of my answers. He comes away from the exchange satisfied; but I’m not sure that I am.
Every time my sweet child asks me about these things, I remember that our family has them – but that other families do not. Every time I answer his questions about the necessity of our shelter, I’m reminded of others who are constantly seeking a place to rest their heads at night.
D has asked these questions so often lately that he now comes up with the answers himself:
“Why do we have a house? Is it so that we don’t have to get wet when it rains?”
“Why not do we have to sleep outside? [He’s still getting the hang of word order!] Is it because we have a house to sleep in?”
“Why do we have beds? Is it because otherwise we’d have to sleep on the floor?”
This repetition – this listing by my littlest of the comforts we enjoy that I might otherwise take for granted – is a great reminder for me that what we have is a delight. D acting as my own little reminder has helped put me in a posture of gratitude – so I thought I’d pass on the good turn.
Consider this a little reminder to count your blessings. Let’s be grateful for all we have, and mindful of those who have not. “Nice place you got here!” – Indeed!