Saturday, February 16, 2013

claire wants

Claire wants a green dress.
Claire wants a hairband.
Claire wants a chocolate.
Claire wants milk.
She wants the milk now.
Claire wants more.
Claire wants another one.
Claire wants a yogurt.
Claire wants to go outside.
She wants to go now.

Claire wants. She wants. She wants wants wants wants! This morning she was crying because she wants light-up sneakers. We've had this conversation before. I said we'd buy sandals next month because next month the weather will get hot and she won't want to wear tights and shoes to school. She needs new sandals. But she wants light-up sneakers. She might get a choice next month if we find light-up sneakers and sandals; she can pick which ones she'll wear through the end of the school year.

This morning I said I understood her: I want. I want I want I want! Sometimes I want good things. Sometimes I want what isn't for me, or isn't for me now. I get it! I was trying to tell her that: I understand how much you want light-up sneakers! I understand how much you want a green dress! There are things I want that much too!

These conversations aren't going to go away. They haven't left me. I think about what I want. I question my intent or motivation. I want I want. I am saying Thank you out loud and that quiets a few wants: thank you for coffee, thank you for crepes, thank you for Legos, thank you for imagination. Sometimes I say no to myself even if I don't have to, not for the pride of self-denial, but because when I say yes, I take more than I need. More mocha, more chocolate, more screen time, more clothes.

If I tell Claire: Look at what you have! Enjoy what you already have! then I need to do the same. I am looking at what I have right in front of me: a laptop that gets a little hot but still runs, a small blue tin full of fortune cookie slips dating back to high school, a blue cloud Grant painted, Fiction 100, a small carved dish from Colombia, an orange scarf my sister loaned me for the year, a dark chocolate biscuit with sea salt, bottled water, my notebook. (Tell me to clean my desk).

I like what I have. I want I want. But I am thinking about Claire learning to manage her want. It is easy for me to buy a green dress or find light-up sneakers. And she would be so happy. For an hour. For a week maybe. I want more for her though.


Clare said...

oh, i get this...with andra having a new sister, a birthday and christmas within a 4 weeks, she GOT and still WANTS. tough to say no effectively.

Anonymous said...

Soo... is the orange scarf one that I loaned to you??????

Mary Grace

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