Care packages and loving my kids

Monday, July 23, 2007

Been thinking about how I have perceived loving my kids and how my kids really want or need to be loved. Last week my oldest left a sad message from camp inquring about a possible care package that may have been lost in the mail. The truth was that I had not planned on sending him one. He was only gone for 5 days and had money to spend at the camp store. Trey and I discussed the ramifications of doing nothing versus our only other option of driving the 90 minutes to the camp and leaving some goodies for him. (He was coming home the very next day). We went back and forth about how we might knowingly "wound" him if he was the only one who didn't get anything. Would this be an event he'd take into adulthood or were we making more out of it than was necessary? We opted to go out there and sneak a box in to his cabin. I still wasn't sure this was the right thing. He expressed his appreciation when he came home the following weekend but I didn't sense that the absence or presence of this "care package" was pivotal to his overall happiness and well-being.
Last night we were watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. This particular family had 8 children, an absent father and an uncle suffering from cancer. As is typical of most families on this show, their current living conditions were deplorable. A situation most of us can't even fathom. But what was amazing to me (and to the show's staff) was the incredible amount of love and respect that existed in their home. The kids were kind and respectful to one another. Their cohesiveness as a family was evident in the first five minutes of the show. They knew they had to stick together because "each other" is all they had. Even though ABC had built them a dream home, replete with a true to life football field in the backyard, one could tell that this "life changing" event wasn't going to change the core of who these people were or what they valued.
So why do I think a care package has the power to do that for my son?