Friday, July 19, 2013
I Grew up Wealthy. Did I Mention That?
I'll bet you didn't know I grew up rich. It's not something I brag about here, and anyway - it's not as if my wealth had anything to do with my father's salary.
My luxury-laden youth came as a result, mostly, of when I was born. Which was long before computers were in homes, when TV was in black and white (for those who had it at all), and the family's one telephone was usually on a 'party-line.' Oh, sorry - you're probably too young to know what that was (several neighborhood homes shared the line... sort of like having extension phones in various houses).
Here is the truth of it: I am a bona fide baby boomer. One who spent my childhood fashioning cardboard dollhouses, taking my protesting puppy for rides in a doll carriage, and spending hours crafting my own paper dolls. I knew the wealth of not having technology to think and play and create FOR me - and how thankful I am for the luxury of those times. They helped, in ways known to God alone, to form me into someone with a spark of creativity in my bones. When I did sit in front of the black and white TV, I found nothing to pollute my young mind. Loretta Young twirled onscreen to present this week's half hour drama (always with a lesson). Bishop Sheen taught things I didn't "get," but I liked it when an unseen angel seemed to clean his blackboard. Bud learned again that Father Knew Best.
I don't have to point out the fact that things have changed. Even those much younger than I know this. Some even realize that society as a whole has traded oh, so many riches for poverty. I could go into this here, but I will spare us. If we're at this blog, we almost certainly know what I mean.
Still, I try to find wealth where I can. God is with us, and by His amazing grace we can find Him. We who know Him have a wondrous inheritance to pass along to our families.
We can even pass on the simple treasures of creativity. Homeschoolers are, I think, particularly good at doing this. Grandparents are in a good position to pass on some wealth as well, because we often have more time than mommies and daddies.
With that in mind, I look around and realize that I'm wealthier now than when I was a child. For one (main) thing, I know God better. For another, earthly treasures are piled so high that people can barely walk around in my house.
You should see it! The floors around here are littered with grandchildren's dolls and trucks and board games and papers. And yes, money as well. "Dollar bills" that we've colored and cut (more or less in rectangles) from printer-paper. And such an abundance of food! Roundish paper cookies my granddaughter Bunny made for her collection of dolls.
Oh, and you should see the art on our walls; it's a virtual gallery, not confined to walls alone, but taped to doors and windows ... and well, of course, the 'fridge.
I do not want to see my grandchildren deprived of the treasures that have been my entitlement. Not when they have a grandma wealthy enough to provide paper and crayons when they want tea-party cookies, a cardboard box when they'd like a playhouse, a round coaster to serve as the steering wheel for their (sofa) car.
I share less "simple" things with the grandchildren as well, of course, as do their parents and other relatives and friends. But I would be remiss if I hoarded my stash of boomer-treasures and refused to hand them on.
Most importantly (it goes without saying), I'm privileged to help pass along the incomparable treasure of shared prayer and casual discussions of Christ's love.
In a world that seems to be sliding ever further from the wealth of creativity, simplicity.... and most of all, truth and morality and integrity... I don't intend to be stingy.
I intend to pay the Truth forward. I intend to pass it on.
Painting: Mykola Pymonenko Vorozhinnia, in US public domain
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