While away on a mini vacation recently with my family, I had cause to try to teach a two year old the difference between a privilege and right. Early? Probably. But hopefully if I repeat it enough times, it will start to stick at some point :)
We decided to get a car rental to make our stay out of town more palatable and to facilitate transportation, to state the obvious. Of course, if I were to look around the parking lot of the car rental company and I was told to pick any vehicle and it was gratis, I would probably go with the fully loaded Cadillac escalade. But we all know it doesn’t work that way when you’re paying for stuff! So we went with a sedan–one that was big enough for us (my family of three) and all of our luggage, at the barest minimum. And yes, I am a packer! The package obviously did not include a DVD player or a GPS system. We had other means of finding our way that was free and that worked just fine.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with the Escalade. We would have had a blast in it. But it wasn’t pragmatic, essential, necessary, practical and may I add affordable to that list of descriptive terms?
My toddler was very good for the first three days. On day four she casually asked as we drove away from the hotel if she could watch TV and I’m not even sure what my answer was at that point. I thought she was kidding right? Right!
Much later in the day she asked a little more emphatically this time.
“I want to watch TV,” she said to me in a slightly low tone, while smiling cheekily but almost as if she was thinking, It won’t hurt to ask.
“You know there’s no DVD in this car baby,” I answered smiling as well but my tone sounding like You’ve got to be kidding me right?
She then said to me, “Why not?”
“We might need to ask the manufacturer about that one honey! Why didn’t they install a DVD player when they made this car?’”
“We need to have TV.” That was my little munchkin still on the same issue, after attempting to digest my answer.
At this point I take on the attitude of Oh no she didn’t. “We don’t NEED to have anything honey. We don’t need to have DVD in mama’s truck back home. We don’t even need to have a truck…or a car. We need to be thankful for whatever we have my dear.”
Thankfully, she looked quite satisfied with my explanation and we went on about the rest of our day quite satisfactorily.
Then I thought to myself, It’s a privilege and not a right. And at that point it was a learning point even for me, probably more so than my little mama. It’s just one of those things we need to remind ourselves of every so often, so as not to lose sight of what’s really important such as life, love, family and friendships.
Every now and again, we need to remind ourselves to be thankful for everything we have because if we didn’t have them, we’d still be alive, and it’s a blessing that we do have them. It’s a privilege, not a right.
BLESSINGS my people!
Little J doing her favorite thing in the back of mama's truck: watching a Leapfrog DVD!