This is the first year that I have been able to take Kai back-to-school shopping at stores other than thrift stores. This is the first year that my boy has gotten to go to “regular” stores with brand new clothes and accessories which all of the other “regular” kids are able to go to without batting an eye. For me, for us, this year was a big year. While it may seem trivial and superficial, unless you have been in the position in which all you could afford for your child was a $2.00 used backpack from the local thrift store, in which you convinced him to be excited about; you simply cannot relate. Telling me that you “understand” when you are living in a million dollar house and have everything that you need and then some; you simply cannot relate. Not at all will you be able to understand that feeling of not knowing exactly how you are going to outfit your child for the school year, how you will afford groceries, get by until your next day of work. And, it’s okay. I am not asking you to understand, I am simply requesting that you do not claim to understand. These words are not emerging from a bitter place. Not from a place of angst or martyrdom. Not from a place of hatred, longing or feeling sorry for myself. These words come from a sense of humble pride, a sense of true gratitude for all that I have attained and a place of perspective.
Today was a big day for me. Today was a big day for Kai. Today was a big day for Kai and I, as a unit. We outfitted him for school at real stores with new, sparkly items. We put together an ensemble of clothes that felt great to him which he tried on in real dressing rooms where other kids were choosing their ensembles for the first day of school. We went to a real store where there were brand new backpacks galore and my kid actually had the opportunity to choose a new backpack from rows upon rows of backpacks. There were choices. Kai was lit up in a way I have never seen before. After selecting the brand spanking new items to adore himself with, we went and got a real, professional haircut. It is not as if he has not had brand new items before, not by a long shot. My child is privileged and is spoiled rotten by some adoring grandparents. Today was exceptionally different as it was just Kai and I and guess who paid for every single item??? I did. I paid for everything all day long. I had the opportunity to, for the first time in Kai’s 7 years of life, to treat my child to what he desired. To items that have boosted his little battered self-confidence and to assist him in feeling excited about starting a new school year when school has been a less-than-positive experience for him. I did it.
And, I would not give up our experiences of having to shop in thrift stores. It is actually one of my all time favorite ways to shop…it is an adventure…a creative endeavor…a scavenger hunt. I love it. Kai loves it. I am happy that I have gifted Kai in his young years an appreciation for “things”, a deeper understanding of the cost of much of the excessiveness of today’s society, and a gratitude for when we actually do have the money to buy nice things and eat at restaurants. I believe that Kai will never take things for granted. My heart assures me that I am instilling some progressive values about money, true abundance, and attainment. I feel really enlightened about the path we are on together on every level and would not change a thing. I am grateful for everything we have; we are truly abundant as we have a beautiful roof over our heads, beds to sleep in, and vibrant and plentiful food in our fridge. It has not been without struggle yet I know in my heart of hearts how blessed we are.
Today was an important day, a special time of acknowledgement, repair, and bonding. It was celebratory of sorts…both of us feeling pride in each other. Both of us feeling the exceptional ease of the day, the joy in our mutual attainment, and shear bliss in feeling as one unit. Bonded through our progression of life thus far…together. We have been partners for these 7 years, just Kai and I in our mutual solitude and authentic partnership. We are bonded for life, a rare and unique connection and relationship… the most unique, challenging, heart opening, and humbling partnership of our lifetimes.