Big sister’s eyes widened in surprise and disbelief as she was told the laptop in front of her was her’s alone. A few steps behind her the brother’s eyes moistened in disbelief and offense. He mumbled a pitiful reproach, “I have only 18 wishes.” Hushing him up as quickly as I could I determined to find out later about those 18 wishes. The attention returned to the rejoicing of the grateful birthday girl.
His papa and I decided that this foul attitude needed to be addressed soon. We agreed that he really had noting to complain about. Our son did not wait for the day to pass before he came to me with his little piece of paper. I told him that today we were going to focus on his sister and the next day I would talk to him about his list.
Early the next morning my son wasted no time in bringing me his wishes. The 18 items included many electronic gadets and a few toys that any nine year old boy would delight in. In our parental conversation we had decided that the angle we wanted to take was to emphasize gratefulness for the things he already had. My boy understood. I told him that it was fine to hold on to the list and be patient. Our talk ended well; he was validated and encouraged to grow in his character.
Reflecting on these interactions I wondered about my own attitude. There are times that I am tempted to look with disbelief and offense at the goodness in the lives of others. In occurances such as these why would I go to God with my wish list? Would it not be a better practice to rejoice with the person who has been blessed?
I had to chuckle at the final item on my son’s list. It is simply: more time.