I don't know which is worse: shopping with 3 animated kiddos or shopping with the idea that things must be cheap for me to be frugal but pricey enough to believe that whoever made the item received fair wages for it.
Not only am I fighting with 3 adversaries determined to pull me into every pet shop, toy store, and food stop in sight but I'm simultaneously at war with my own multiple personalities.
The boy attempting to bust himself out of mall jail I can handle, the girl doing bizarre situps while talking to her alter ego in the mirror is normal (by now), and the child trying to puncture her cheek with an accessory she hopes will rival the nose ring...nothing a trip to the ER can't fix.
My real trouble begins when I get into my van and drive to the nearest mall to find an economical yet modern solution to my need/desire for a new sweater for when I'm backpacking the Grand Canyon with my husband on his upcoming business trip/honeymooniversary. (Need vs. desire depends on my mood/time of latest perusal of fashion catalogs/pinterest and the biz vs. honeymoon is my attempt to justify why I'm spending a little money on a plane ticket that will get me free ride while piggybacking on my husband's expensed hotel room. Too much information? Maybe but only if you went down a different trail with the whole piggyback/husband thing... ;)
It's getting incredibly harder to justify wants when I am more and more aware of the needs of others. Just this week I heard from our dear friend who left everything in the US to start an orphanage all.by.herself. in Vietnam. She asked us to pray for a woman who desperately wanted to abort her child because, with an unemployed husband, adding one more mouth to the other five she was already feeding didn't seem possible.
I looked at pictures today of a friend who recently returned from Uganda. A line of children snaked up the steps of a rusty slide at recess (tetanus shot anyone?) because it was the only option for amusement. Meanwhile we occasionally spend a few extra dollars to ensure our kids meal of happiness includes a disposable toy while zipping through the drive through.
One voice says it's ok, to spend a little something on myself once in awhile. The other says I already did and it now fills my belly, provides the roof over my head, and gas in my vehicle to take me from here to there.
One voice says, it was on the sales rack, good for you! The other says that that money could be given to help the many children for sale throughout the world.
Meanwhile, friends tell me I'm crazy, getting a little looney. There's only so much you can do. God knows. Pray for them.
But I have the means to help. I have the power to vote with every purchase.
And so, we leave the mall empty handed with heavy hearts. This discomfort amidst my comforts, it's not always easy. The solutions are not always as appealing as the deeply discounted sale tags.
But me and mine, we'll continue in the looney as we seek to save and share our toonies...
Disclaimer: Looneys and toonies are Canadian $1 and $2 coins. Just thought you should know...:)
Still Embracing with Emily.