Nothing New (in succession)

It’s been hard to find myself coming back to post about nothing.  Who can blog and share thoughts about NOTHING? Really, it’s been that way.  When you are buying nothing new, there is a lot less buying.  Period. I have been thinking about and noticing a few things this week, however.

On Monday, our country unified in considering how we feel and from where we have come about diversity.  About non-violence. About freedoms. About perceptions. About accepting differences, in all aspects, of another. I found myself in conversation with my kids over these concepts.  They have ALWAYS had a heart for social justice-type actions, for love in the purest forms.  My daughter found a hero both in Martin Luther King Jr. and, even more so, Rosa Parks. She has been fascinated with them since Kindergarten, has done, “I’m bored today” projects centered around writing and directing a video about both of them. Our eight year old, came home telling me that they watched this video in school that was, “Really creepy, Mom, it was about not letting people go to school because of their skin color! They even hosed them down with fire hoses! It was crazy and scary! I had to look away! Who does that?” He could not fathom why it mattered. Right on, man.  Success number 1.

On certain days of the week, we are blessed to have an extra couple of sweet kids become a part of us. They come in, this three year old and four month old, early in the morning, before anyone else is awake and “do life” with us until dinnertime.  They arrive in their pajama’s (only sometimes), and sit at our table for breakfast. They are anticipated and anxiously awaited upon by all three of my kids. If you know my daughter, you would know that she is not the “motherly” type by nature, yet I have seen it unfold in the way she smiles at and holds the baby, calls it “her” baby, insists on feeding her.  This week, I had to leave the house early and leave my daughter with her brothers. I left them while they were sleeping, knowing I would walk into a frenzy of need later – “Get dressed quick guys before we have to go!” “Give me the brush so I can do your hair!” “The spray bottle!” “Did you eat yet?” “Quick, brush your teeth!” “Don’t forget socks! Quick, we have to go!” HOWEVER, I walked in and they were dressed, fed, completely ready all prompted by HER. I was shocked. Success number 2.

My eight year old son, walked in after school yesterday with a smile on his face.  His first words were, “Hi baby, I love you, you are so sweet.” He was talking to the four month old on the floor, cooing. He did not have his aching, starving stomach on his mind.  He did not rush off to the bathroom.  Instead, he walked over to her, picked her up and sat on the couch asking to have the bottle of breast milk! to feed her.  As he was feeding her, he said, “I wish we could just keep her.” A few minutes later, he was playing with her and smelling her and said, “I can’t wait to get married and have children, we can just KEEP our babies, then!” After this, he became the activities co-ordinator for the two preschoolers in my house, daddy style.  “Get on my back, I’ll give you a horsey ride!” “Set up the chairs, we are going to play…” “C’mon guys! Let’s pretend to have a box of magic, this is how you play…” Sweet, kind, loving. Success number 3.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our actual Nothing New progress. This week we found ourselves in need of some clothing for our older kids, mostly pants. Usually, for them, I would just hop on over to Target for their very plain, cheap, and goes with everything pants. They HATE the thrift store, HATE the clothing, HATE the idea of it. I took them anyway.  As we looked through the rows and rows of pants, I noticed a marked change in their attitudes.  They were smiling and helpful in the process, they had an excitement in buying Nothing New.  We ended up leaving with six pair of jeans from Gap and Levi and a pair of recycled sole Teva’s.  We spent only $33. I am NOT a thrift store shopper, I hate it too, but was excited for the challenge.  My kids don’t care about brands (yet), but we found some quality (at least, over Circo), for so much less. We all found it thrilling to have a bagful of necessity, while not creating a need for more – not taking from a rack that will be refilled with the same exact item. Success numbers 4 and 5.

We did find ourselves buying Something New.  We almost never do this.  We don’t usually have the sentiment or feel the need to buy  “picture packages” offered us by the given teams our children play on.  However, it meant so much to our daughter to have a picture of her current traveling basketball team.  We caved (?) I guess. We bought the package that was both the least amount of stuff and money. Honestly, it didn’t even occur to me that I was “cheating” until later.  Not a success if you look at it from our Year, still a success in our daughters fun and commitment as she is growing.  No loss, no success. I’ll take it.

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4 Responses to Nothing New (in succession)

  1. Nick Coenen says:

    Would not count that as a failure at all. Capture moments for sentiment is very different than buying things frivolously. And besides, you easily offset that minor expense with the major savings at the Thrift Store.

    While I’m not sure this challenge is where my family is called, I am intrigued by it. I’m debating staring a blog about an overly ambitious garden I am dreaming about for this spring and summer…

    • mayberrymama says:

      I appreciate that.

      I bet you miss writing. Would you please start one (both blog and garden) from which we could glean? Your wife is the BEST person with whom to partner in “overly ambitious” gardening. And OH! Guess what?! We just ate a roast last night that was tucked in a freezer and almost forgotten. We ate with warm hearts and Coenens on our mind. Thank you.

  2. Sarah Browne says:

    Tammy,
    This is so inspiring. I want to do something like this with Andy, but he says he doesn’t think he could do it, so maybe I’ll do it myself. 🙂
    Your stories about your kids are so touching and heartwarming. You truly have a loving and caring family. Your kids are going to do great things. I can’t wait to meet my kids some day!
    I miss you. It is good for me to have something of yours to read to help me feel connected to you. Love you Tammy J. Hope to see you soon.
    -SB

    • mayberrymama says:

      Thank you, Sarah!

      Maybe you could try a month at a time? Or try just one item you buy a lot of and challenge yourself to change how you consume? You can do it!

      We miss you, too. Love to you. Hope to see you soon! Yes!

      P.S. My kids are NORMAL and our family is in process, messy (as you know) – a few successes is like a cup of cold water. Thank you for the encouragement.

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