We need to do this at Chez GEW. We need to pare down.
This is not a new realization, but every once in awhile, I realize that our failures to keep things simple are having negative effects on our children. Today, several things have brought the issue to the forefront.
As I have said in the past, I allow my children to bring bugs and small creatures into the house. I think that allowing them to do this helps build their connection to nature. However, what with spring being sprung, there is a plethora of life out there right now--caterpillars, tadpoles, salamanders, pill bugs, etc.--and too many of them are finding their way into our house. And it's not just that I am running low on kitchen counter space. No, the problem is that I fear that my kids are becoming somewhat cavalier about the life and death of these creatures. Some pill bugs died? Oh, well. There are more. A caterpillar died? Oh, well. There are more.
Since my goal is to sensitize them to nature and life cycles--rather than desensitize them--we must make a change. So last night, Hubs and I spoke to the kids about limiting our creature intake so that we can take really good care of each creature (and the increase in my kitchen counter space will also be much appreciated). We will only have about two critters at a time (not counting our permanent residents--the dog and the lizard).
And the creature realm is not the only realm that needs attention. In every way, we have too much stuff. I'm sure the kids got more Easter loot than they needed. I know they have more toys than they need. This summer will be the summer for paring down. And I mean it this time. We are foregoing the usual month-long trip to Colorado (*cue sad music*) so that we can do chores at home: clean out the garage, clean out all of the closets, have a garage sale, take stuff to Goodwill, visit the dump, etc. Will we finish the summer lighter, airy-er, and more nimble. And with, I hope, fewer critters languishing in random jars around the house.
I want my children to appreciate the value of things rather than the quantity of things--don't we all?--and I haven't done the best job of teaching them to do so. I need to do better. I was struck by my friend's recent post, in which she demonstrates that old things have value and that it's worth putting in some effort to save money while also creating unique things that you like--rather than piling up a bunch of crapola from the dollar store.
*This post is dedicated to our Betta fish (named "Betta") who is at death's door and who will probably perish before the day is done. He has been with us for almost two years, and he will be missed. Well, hubs and I will miss him. I hope the children will care at least a little bit.