in Journal

Crayons

I don’t know why the crayons bothered me so much. It wasn’t the first time I’d realized she had too much stuff, but then it’s easy to rationalize the other things, like clothes: she gets dirty often and she grows fast–90th percentile for her height and her weight according some weird standard that I’m convinced exists because parents are desperate for a way to measure their kids’ progress and receive logical validation that they’re doing everything right.

But fifty crayons? That’s enough for fifty kids! It’s just too much. She’s already influenced by the excessiveness and overabundance that surrounds her every day. Why would I want to teach her that it’s okay to have more than she needs all the time by allowing her to always have more than she needs? She doesn’t even know what to do with fifty crayons!

So I took them away, all but ten or so, several of which were broken–I couldn’t help but think about how some kids would be overjoyed to have even a tiny broken piece of just one crayon, let alone ten.

Going too far in the other direction–to the other extreme–isn’t good either. It’s a balancing act. She didn’t cry when I took them away. I don’t think she even noticed. She’s still young and doesn’t yet understand the concept of enough or not enough. That’s my job, to guide her to a healthy understanding that being grateful for what you have is more important than figuring out what’s enough.