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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Hey! They've Got a Trampoline!!!

Jealousy is an issue for me.
It’s less of a problem with material things—I’m pretty free with my stuff, and the hubs and I only lock the house’s doors to keep the humans inside safe. There’s not much else I can’t live without or would mourn with twisted fingers and gnashing teeth if it came up missing.
In fact, come take the cat. Please.
No, the hot, hairy, green monster savages me when it comes to things like success, respect, admiration, and accolades: when someone else gets their book published, or is asked to be the keynote speaker, or gets bestowed upon them an award I’d like to have.
I want to be important, you see.
Which is likely why I have not yet become so. At least, not according to my definition of the word. Apparently my character is more important to God than my CV.
I told God a while back that I feel satisfied with the present level of my personal development. I swear to you, I heard him laugh. Then he said, “I’m not.”
So I was in the car with the kiddos the other night, and my mind ruminated—as usual—over my various disappointments and dejections: I’m older than that person and I’ve been working at this a lot longer and how come they got asked to do that and no one ever asks me I swear it’s not what you know but who you know and I’m so sick of trying and why don’t I just go eat worms…
Then my eight-year-old’s voice broke into my thoughts, with a piercing whine of indignation that almost sent me swerving the minivan into oncoming traffic. “Hey! They’ve got a trampoline!”
My molars clamped shut so I didn’t say the first thing that sprang to my tongue, which was, “You spoiled little snot!”
I formulated what I did want to say for this thoroughly teachable moment: “Why do you perceive that someone else’s blessing is somehow an affront to your personal sense of entitlement?” As I attempted to translate that into words a third grader could understand, the irony smacked me between the eyes like an aluminum baseball bat.
Why do I perceive that someone else’s blessing is somehow an affront to my personal sense of entitlement?
What a spoiled little snot I am.

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