Over the years, many people have tried to teach me about sacrifice. Sacrifice in my Christian walk, sacrifice for my work, sacrifice for others, it's an endless list really. But none have taught me quite so much about all these areas as my kids. Mothers sacrifice so much,
then we go and feel guilty that we haven't quite sacrificed enough, we would do anything for our kids. Sometimes we need to make a call... is this sacrifice worth it?
I have put my body on the line, because lets face it, although plenty of people do it, giving birth isn't exactly safe... least of all for your figure. My abs resemble more "rolling hills" than "washboard". My hips are kinda clicky and gumby, my feet are getting a little wider with each baby... and kinda hairier, I'll be a hobbit soon. Don't even get me started on what three C-sections will do to a girl! Sacrifice.
I have given up the chance for a bigger house, nicer clothes, more chocolate, all the things that a job providing more money could buy. Some women have to work so they can just keep the food on the table. Sacrifice.
There are so many sacrifices that I make every day, little ones. Four biscuits left in the packet so I go without, not getting that nice pair of pants I saw for me so that I can get a pair of jeans for Lion, giving up time out with a friend so that the kids can stay home and nap, sitting up at night with a child who can't sleep so that he doesn't have to be alone in the dark, being the last to sit down at the table and the first to get up again so that everyone can have a nice dinner, cooking dinner instead of watching the news, watching that kids movie that I can't stand
over and over and over again because someone wants to sit and snuggle while they watch it again, missing out on time alone in the day so that a small child can feel like he's had some one on one time with me.
Then, one day, you are called to make a sacrifice that stops you. It stops you in your tracks and you just don't know what to do, where do you go for advice? Who has been down this path before? Who can help you make this decision? The answer, if I'm honest, is that no one can. You need to do what is right for your family, for your child. Maybe it is time to let them grow up that bit more, spread their wings, assert their independence... maybe it's not. If you let them do this one thing, your relationship may never be the same again, you may never be the same again. Can your heart handle it? Can you face that sacrifice so large that it will change who you are as a person? Your fear realised and come to life?
For me, that time has come. Far sooner than I thought. I tried to talk him out of it. He tried to talk me into it. I tried to convince him that "maybe later" was a better option. He did his best to convince me that he was ready. I tried to tell him that it's just not what we do in our family. He told me that maybe our family needs to change. He presented some good arguments. He didn't nag. He accepted that I was not going to give in but he persisted in his pursuit. I started to question myself a little more. My motives. My strength. My sacrifice... was this one that I had to give in? Where I had to go against my better judgement and make this sacrifice for my child? This was something that I held to with everything in me, it was never going to happen... so how had it come to the point where I was actually considering the sacrifice? Then, he did it... "It's okay mum, I know you don't like it so that's okay." He was giving up his dream, for me.
So, I made the sacrifice for him.
I went ahead and let him buy a remote control Tarantula.
This hideous creature is sitting in my cupboard waiting for Dragon to earn the money for it. He's been the tough one to teach to save. I've been trying to get him to set goals to save for but he never makes it, he quits and settles for something else before he reaches his goal. He's been wanting one of these for ages, he has not given in. I've not been pleased with his determination. They aren't often in the shops so when I decided he could have one I said I'd buy it and keep it aside until he earned the money for it... and he's getting there... a little too fast. He is the one that takes the here and now over the sit and wait. Something small in his hand RIGHT NOW will always win out over waiting for the small things to turn into something bigger. He's changed. For a spider. Turning down the offer to purchase of a new matchbox car for the chance to add $2 more to his total savings. Offering to help with cleaning for another 50c marked off his chart. Suggesting jobs that I have never had any success in getting him to help with... not even for money... just so he can get his spider sooner. Responsibility... Determination... Forward planning... not things that I would associate with my Dragon... until now.
I'm still regularly regretting my sacrifice... like every time I walk past his earning chart and see that he's almost half way there... but I can see what this has taught him. The lessons he is learning from this are ones that he'll need to remember. Lessons that will keep him in the future... like if you pull at Mum's heart strings hard enough she'll break like a twig.