Thursday, November 20, 2008

The parable of the Petshops

No cute pictures to post today. Just thoughts. In the newspaper this morning was a column by Orson Scott Card-- I generally like his column and I did today as well. He wrote about finding parables in life. So here's the best I could come up with. Oh, but before I start "The Parable of the Petshops" let me clarify a couple of things first. Today I was feeling a bit "blah"- a little down in the dumps, having a pity party for one. You get the idea. Abe and I made some really bad (stupid) financial decisions a while back and we're still suffering the consequences. So today I'm wishing things weren't quite the way they are.
Secondly, Littlest Petshops are cute/ugly (depending on your opinion) three inch toys of animals that little girls LOVE to play with.
Okay, so today I happily have some neighbor kids from our ward (also homeschooled) to play while their mom drives carpool for her older kids. Our kids play really well together and the two girls- K and R -bring over their petshops to play with my girls and their petshops. K and R and Bethany have some system of dividing up the Petshops and playing some game I think I am too old to understand. Today however, K and R didn't want to divide things up the way that Bethany did. It is important to note that K and R have many more petshops than Bethany. So Bethany starts getting a little flustered and I ask her to come up to talk to me. She comes-- crying. I don't know more detail than that about the conflict. I purposefully try to stay ignorant of the details--not because I don't care about their feelings, but because the details don't usually matter that much. Bethany explains to me that it isn't FAIR because K and R have so many more. I try the classic "Sometimes things aren't fair" line. She doesn't buy it. Then I say
"Bethany, do you have petshops to play with?"
Bethany: Not as many!
Me: But you do have a lot you can play with?
Bethany: But they have newer ones that are cuter!
Me: Just play with yours and be happy you have some to play with
Bethany: Maybe I can ask them to put some of their cute ones away so we can be even
Me: That might work. You can ask them. I'm sorry you are feeling sad but I think you are wasting really fun playing time being sad instead of thinking about all the fun ones you have to play with.

Ah Ha!

Now. Did I handle this perfectly. No, I'm sure I could have been much more understanding to her plight, but I learned something for me. The "Parable of the Petshops" teaches me to stop being sad about what I don't have and be grateful for what I do have. We say life isn't fair. Really? Is that really true? I suggest life is fair. It's fair because who doesn't have problems. And who doesn't have blessings! I don't want to spend so much time feeling sad about my problems that I "waste my really fun time" enjoying the good things in my life. This is sometimes hard for me to do, but its the way to be happy.
I could go on, but that's the basic idea.
As a side note, I DO NOT believe K and R are guilty on any count. All was quickly resolved and everyone is friends again.
Okay, I can't help myself-- one cute picture! Bethany lost her second front tooth last night. I LOVE little kids missing both front teeth-- so cute in an ugly sort of way! She's mostly just excited to be able to sing "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth!"


Abe Fox said...

It is Thanksgiving time isn't it.
I love your Parable, and I love you.

D & J Moyes said...

Good job! I think that is something that 99 percent of the population struggles with by the way, including me. Just learning to be grateful for what you have a nd living within your means are 2 very hard lessons it seems for me.

Bethany's teeth looks so cute! I wish that Maddy had lost her teeth like that. Hers really were ugly! She would like loose ONE and then no the other and one would start growing half way in and then the other would fall out and her mouth just always looked a mess. Now she actually has two teeth in one hole. One is the baby tooth that doesn't want to fall out and the other is the grown up tooth already growing in......we are not imbred I promise.

Katie Fox said...

what a wonderful way to think about life, if only we would never forget that.

henryteachers said...

Perfect timing for Bethany to lose her front teeth. I loved your parable Betsy. Thanks for inspiring me when I read your blog. It gives me a better perspective about life!

Mothership said...

I noticed you are reading an Ingalls book. Those always remind me to be grateful for what I have . . . Even during our leanest times, we have WAY more than they did. Gratitude keeps us happy, I think.