I was so excited. I’d purchased pricey tickets to Disney on Ice, and Max and I were going on a date. I couldn’t wait to see the expression on his face, once the show began.
The day of the show, we arrived at the arena, quickly scanned the tickets, and rushed to our seats. I didn’t want to miss any of the action. The lights went out and suddenly the ice was covered with magical scenery. One by one, Disney characters dressed in fancy costumes, skated to the soundtracks of beloved Disney movies. It was amazing; Mickey, Pinocchio, Cinderella, and even the cast of Frozen were there. Max sat on the edge of his seat and his eyes lit up as he anxiously anticipated each act. He became even more excited when midway through the show I got him a special treat-$15 cotton candy. He greedily scarfed it down and a big smile appeared on his sticky, sugary-coated face. He enjoyed the candy, as much or more, than the show. Once the show ended, I thought for sure he’d crown me, mother of the year. I was wrong.
Anyone who has attended a kids’ entertainment event, knows the event doesn’t truly end until you exit the arena. The corridor leading to the exit, was jam-packed with booths displaying sparkly, illuminated, shiny, toys and trinkets. Everywhere I looked there were overpriced, cheaply-made, kid-targeted enticements. Max’s eyes widened and he immediately asked me to purchase a sword for him. I told him no, and reminded him that I had already purchased the tickets and cotton candy, and he had three swords at home. Like a skilled litigator, he pled his case, “these swords are different, my swords at home don’t light up, my friends need a sword to play with when they visit.” I remained unpersuaded. As I continued to say no, I watched my sweet, happy child morph into a manipulative, angry, brat.
Later when I asked if he had a good time, he angrily responded, no. When I asked why, he said because he didn’t get the sword he wanted. Just like that, all of the sacrifices I made were forgotten and were outranked by the one thing he thought he couldn’t live without.
Sometimes it seems as though Max is never satisfied. As I reflected on Max’s behavior, I was tempted to write it off as further proof that he is spoiled and ungrateful. However, the truth is that his constant desire for more is similar to my own. I too, have been given great opportunities and gifts. I’ve been blessed with good health, a great family, and a good lifestyle, but sometimes instead of appreciating what I have, I focus on what I don’t have. When I got the job and salary I wanted, I immediately wanted more money. When we purchased the house in the neighborhood I loved, I immediately wanted a bigger house on a different block. When I lost the baby weight, I decided it wasn’t enough and life would be perfect if only I could lose more.
There have been countless times when I’ve been angry, because God didn’t give me what I felt I deserved and wanted. Unfortunately, to a certain extent that is human nature. However, the disappointment I feel when Max doesn’t appreciate what I provide, serves as a reminder to me that I too, am guilty of being unappreciative. At times, I have felt, if only God would give me one more thing, my life would be set. The reality is, like Max, I already have so much and before complaining about my desire for more, I need to fully appreciate what I have. Perhaps God, like me, denies our requests, because he knows what is best and wants us to acknowledge and appreciate all that he has already provided for us.