Of all the put downs her so-called friends could have come up with, “spoilt rich kid” was not one I had at the foremost in my mind. In fact, it didn’t even make it to the top 50.
So I guess my bursting out laughing when I heard that’s what one of them told her, was a natural reaction. Luckily for me, it wasn’t Miss Dee who told me or she might have misinterpreted my amusement. No. She told her dad, who in turn told me. (Miss Dee is very selective about which one of us she tells what, so DH and I make sure we talk about the relevant ones. It may sound like we don’t keep her confidences, but we both believe we are in this together and we support each other in helping her.)
I was amused because it was so off the mark, I couldn’t fathom how anyone could even think it, let alone utter it.
DH tried to explain. “It’s because they think we have a nice house and she got braces when some of her friends’ parents are telling them to wait because they are so expensive.”
I was still puzzled. “Our house is small. Some of her friends have far bigger and grander houses than ours,” I said, “and braces are important.”
DH looked at me with sympathy. “It’s perception,” he said. “It’s really about their perspective.”
And then it hit me. Reality has nothing to do with it. The friend in question (and yes, after the fight, she is back in the friends category,) is from a divorced household and I guess the mother struggles.
Whilst we want the best for Miss Dee and yes, she is an only child, we are careful about what we give her and when. The reasons are twofold:
- She needs to learn to value what she gets. The old saying: “Easy come, easy go.” is as true today as it ever was.
- Material things are ephemeral. Once you get something, it quickly loses its appeal and it’s onto the next thing. You are never satisfied and don’t truly enjoy what you have.
However, where her friend was right without realising it is in how rich Miss Dee is. She has a happy family environment. She has two parents who make sure they spend time with her and listen to her. We have a home where hugs come free and often and where laughter (mostly from DH’s sense of humour) flows freely. More importantly, we have a house where people care for each other and value each other’s company.
And you know what? If that’s what spoiling entails, then DH and I are happy to continue to spoil her rotten.
She is worth it.