they are a warrior and a princess, and tatters are enough.

i have seen so much beauty in my kids' playtime lately.  their imaginations are growing and flexing.  it's a remarkable thing to watch.

atticus is almost always pretending to be a soldier, with a sword stuck down the waistband of his pants, and this pink winter hat (passed down to penelope from a friend) on his head as his helmet.  his spear is a toy broom.  he has never once asked for a different helmet.  i don't think it has even occurred to him.  he's content; he's satisfied.  with a girl's pink hat with flowers on it.

penelope is almost always dressed as a princess.  she has only one true 'princess' dress to her name, which was handed down from a friend after it had been loved to near unrecognizability.  we accepted it, and i had plans to sew it and patch it and redeem it as best i could.  well, i never got around to it, but she loves that thing with every iota.  she has never once asked for another, different dress.  i know it hasn't occurred to her.  she's content; she's satisfied.  with a castoff dress that's barely held together by a couple of strategic threads.

how beautiful is that?  they don't want for more.  they haven't compared themselves to other kids and wondered why their stuff is so makeshift.  they're just... happy with what they have.  what a lesson to me!  as i look around myself and wish for new counters, or different jeans, or fancy highlights.  i wish for better skin and smaller teeth and a narrower waist and a more frivolous budget and fancier food.  and i have to work so hard to think, 'it's enough.  it's plenty.  it's wonderful just the way it is, imperfection and want and all.'

we got penelope another princess dress for her birthday, among other things, but we've decided not to give it to her now.  not until the current dress kicks the bucket.  because sometimes having more makes us less happy.  i don't think she'd be as satisfied with two dresses as she currently is with one.  i think, knowing that more dresses could be had, two will seem like not enough, whereas one is wonderful.  i think withholding the 'more' from her, at least for now, is a blessing to her.

there are so many things i think about in my own life when i zoom out.  i think god is being gracious to me in allowing me to want.  by confining our walls and restricting our budget and expanding my waistline.  i think i'm in a place of privelege, by the loving choice of god.  i want that to be enough.  plenty.  wonderful.


lauren said...

this is so good and beautiful and convicting!

todd said...

It is fun to watch them so enjoy what they have. If they could choose anything, Atticus would choose his sword and Penelope would choose her dress. With those alone, they find ways to enjoy their days. Like you said, they don’t look at other kids yet and wish they had their stuff. They don’t feel embarrassed about what they like and love, even though any could point out the deficiencies of their beloved toys. That’s pretty cool.

Hannah said...

Well said and thanks for sharing.
There are some days where I read your posts and wish we lived in the same town and could be friends. Sorry if that's creepy, but we are in a similar place as you, and headed on a similar path family wise. If you are up for a visit from almost strangers, please e-mail! Oh, you mention the "waistline" every now and again. So, just in case this is helpful, here's something I came across one time:

paige said...

thanks for introducing yourself, hannah! it's great to hear from you! also, thanks for passing that link along - turns out, i have a one-finger-width gap, so apparently i'm just slouchy or something?? :)

The Crislers said...

Yes! I'm learning to be thankful to God for making us poor ("poor" being a relative term, of course). If I had extraneous funds, I could have gone out and bought Caedmon a little kiddie tool set as soon as he started getting into tools and "fixin' stuff;" but then he wouldn't have collected a plastic fork, play saucepan, broken faucet, and old flashlight as his tools. He's happy with less and I'm (accidentally) fostering his creativity.

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