On Sat I went to a 1st bday party of a cousin's baby girl. I was surrounded by little ones from ages 2 and up...they were so adorable! They were telling me stories about kindy, pets they wanna get as Christmas pressies, some were even talking about DISCO parties...they were all so chattery. I was in total bliss among these babies, and the eldest among them who was 6yrs old told me that I looked like Californian Barbie..LOL so darn cute! And then she delivered a speech about being a doctor for a day. It was remarkable! My other cousin's little 2yr old girl was asking me what my name was and if I was a teacher, hahaha! And my 4yr old nephew was telling me that he's getting new skin on his hands :):). So very sweet. I was amazed at the level of knowledge, wit and intelligence these kids carried at such tender ages - it's just commendable!
And kids these days are also much more privileged. The toys they own, the clothes and shoes, the accessories, the countless number of activities they take part in...it's just amazing. The bday cake was a huge doll-shape (her fav doll) cake that cost $300 (I took pics...haven't uploaded them to my PC yet). I thought that was a bit too much for a cake. I know they can afford it but $300 very well could be someone's monthly salary! If I had a baby and it was his/her 1st bday, I'd make/get a small cake worth not more than $50. I'd want to teach my kids that life isn't about how BIG you have it, it's about how BIG you give. Some parents these days spend more than what they really can just to impress their kids. Now is it necessary to impress your kids? I know that it's really a personal decision, but to bring up a child with so much of luxury is a bit dangerous to the child's psyche...atleast that's how I see it.
When I was a kid, all I ever had was one fancy doll named Helen (yes Helen it must have been a sign!:)) that talked and sang, which I got as a pressie from my uncle who's in NZ now. Also I had a set of building-blocks that I was very fond of...some dearly loved story books...and few clothes and shoes. My parents were the average earners, who could afford what their kids needed but who never wasted money. We never got what we WANTED...we only got what we NEEDED. We went to a very good school and we had our basic necessities, and that was all that mattered - my parents spent for us where it was necessary. I don't even have a 1st bday photo. Do you? The only bday photos I have were of my 6th bday or so. And I remember my aunt made cakes for us on our bdays and we had small bday parties at home for my schoolmates. And after my 15th bday, I never celebrated my bday cos my dad died before my 16th bday. I never even felt bad for not even having a cake for my 16th and the 21st. I don't even remember what I did on those bdays.
My parents did their best to teach us that in life we don't always get what we want...that we have to earn our living...that we need to be simple about ourselves cos there are others who don't even have 1/10th of what we have. As children, the activities we used to take part in were not fancy dance classes or swimming lessons that my parents needed to pay fees for. We swam in the local rivers and lakes...we climbed trees...we mixed with children in the neighborhood and rode our bicycles til we had no breath left in us...we had everything and it was all free. My favorite past time wasn't playing Playstation, it was watching the lil fishes in the stream at my grandparents' place. My parents didn't have to spend loads of money for us to socialise or learn new things. We had it all and we were natural kids who never asked for BIG things. I remember I never asked anyone for a present...I accepted what I got but I never expected. Cos we were taught to enjoy the finest things in life, which are often the only free things in this world...and that there are other kids in this world who don't have even 1/10th of what we have.
Thanks mum and dad (if you can see this)...I still remember how you brought me up...cos I can SEE today what this world is all about, because of what you etched in me. Long live those engravings of love-and-life in my heart! May we always think about the less-fortunates...may we never forget!
Current Music: Viva Forever by Spice Girls