Sunday, December 5, 2010

I need to find the balance

My baby girl turned 9 yesterday. It's a joyous time in our house, and she loves to celebrate. For the past two years we've taken her and one friend to Build-a-Bear at the Mall of America. She and a friend get to have lunch together, then they each get to pick a stuffed animal and an outfit. That's our version of a friend birthday party.

I didn't want to do it this year. The thought of going to the mall was nauseating to me. I don't like malls to begin with, but this year it's harder for me. I don't want to spend the money on stuffed animals and I don't want to see the excess we have here. It disgusts me. Can't put it any lighter than that.

Sofia had a family birthday party yesterday, and yes, we went to the mall today. She's had such a wonderful weekend. She loved her birthday party. She loved the mall with her friend from church. She loved the entire weekend. I, on the other hand, just want to cry.

At some point I need to find the balance. My kids need to live life and have fun being kids. I get that. But what we've done in the past has got to change. I can't go to Build-a-Bear anymore. Here's a store filled with clothing for stuffed animals. Shoes, socks, even underwear for STUFFED ANIMALS! All I could picture was the kids running in the streets of Haiti. Many of them were naked. They will never see a store like the one we were at today.

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Here's a picture of Sofia with an add-on birthday present. My sister Kris bought a tie-dye kit and onsies for Sofia to decorate for the babies. The balance - what I need to somehow figure out - is letting Sofia and Henry enjoy their childhood, get fun presents, and somehow know how good they've got it. To know that life isn't only about getting presents. It's about helping others who are less fortunate.

How am I going to make it through Christmas?


  1. You have set an example for your children that will last a life time! You really have found the balance between letting them live a "normal" childhood and balancing that with showing them how much they have to be grateful for! You'll make it through Christmas with each smile Sofia and Henry (and Jason too I guess) gives you, each time you look at the giving tree and know..."this is just the beginning"...each time someone you've touched volunteers to give a little of themselves to something larger than themselves! You, my dear friend, are doing EVERYTHING "BALANCE" just fine and we are here to help you when you "LEAN"!

  2. Anna, I couldn't have said it any better!!! You are a beautiful, gifted, talented, compassionate, and caring lady Karen! You are not in this alone. Like Anna said: "we are here to help you when you "LEAN"! (big Sis)