Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gearing-up for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I am feeling a little stressed, hoping to do everything that I want to for my family, within reason, yet feeling so blessed realizing that I have so much more than others. I want my kids to learn that there are others, who don't have the little things that they think are just part of life. For example, grocery shopping yesterday, ice cream is just part of the list, as is bubble gum, sometimes. They don't realize that for other kids, that don't live too far from us, this is a luxury.
Merrill and I are talking about what we can do that would be memorable and a learning experience for them now. We are talking about doing "Toys for Tots" or maybe having them each pick a child from an "Angel Tree". I feel the crunch this time of year, but I know that we have so much more than we even need. I know there are others in my own family who could use the help. It just gets me thinking...
To bring it all home, tonight Merrill was pretty insistent that we watch 20/20 on ABC. I am glad that we did and that he also made sure Lynn was right with us. They were doing a follow-up piece on a story they did a year ago. Families living in a community (although it's hardly that, community sounds too nice a word to describe it) in New Jersey. These families are living in conditions that, I feel a little naive in thinking they didn't exist in our country. Kids with no homes. I mean NO HOME. No food. There was a five year-old who began kindergarten and had no clue what names of the three meals we should eat everyday were. He was lucky to get one. Families living in homes where there was no heat or power. Cockroaches running around like I could never imagine. Holes in exterior walls. Beds on the floor, or a whole family sharing one couch as a bed. How humbling! Here I am worrying if I can do everything I would like for Christmas! Lynn got it. She was shocked that the little boy didn't have food or even a bed of his own. She felt bad that he didn't have his own bedroom with his own toys. She started to understand that ice cream is not necessary to her survival. I am thankful that she understood at least part of it.

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