I just finished a week from hell. Where all of me was stretched. As I pushed myself to finish up Auction projects for my children’s school, solo parented for 2 weeks, and managed to run our business, I am left with the question… How much can I give?
We come from this paradigm that there is never enough, we are stretched too thin, and always on the verge of crumbling if we say Yes to one more thing.
Let me preface what I am about to say… I am not coming from a place of judgement, but merely reflecting on observations.
I was very involved in helping the children’ in my daughters’ classroom create their auction projects. I saw how much of themselves they put into the project. All for the benefit of subsidising tuitions at our school. The older children, were methodical in their execution, and some stepped into their piece with such presence. As one child said when I asked what they had in mind to paint, “I don’t know, I am just going to start and see what comes out”. I nearly melted into the ground as I witnessed their confidence and their beautiful creation.
The younger children (3-5 yrs old) were curious, not totally understanding what was going on, but non the less, they knew they were creating something special. And they knew that the parents were going to bid for the items. We created a table cloth for this classroom, and then the children made place mats that was for individual purchase from parents, $25. Only a few bought it.
Some parents explained to me that on top of tuition, other things, $25 was just too much for it. And then another parent explained to me that some parents just had no space in their brain to think about this, didn’t care, or just forgot. Ok, I hear it all. And yet, this is not feeling right to me.
I remember being the overwhelmed, my-kids-are-lucky-I-managed-to pick-them-up-on-time full time working parent. I remember feeling totally disconnected to what was going on; who knew when they were baking, or which week was a half day. We were pushin’ it financially to pay our tuition, and I felt like I could not be stretched further financially or personally.
I get it. I really do. Yet, I see those children’s effort and I see 20 some parents who did not even reach out and say, “hey can I just pay $10?”. I am sad.
I can’t do anything about it. So, I am going to put each place mat in the child’s mailbox and put a note asking “any contribution is helpful”. I feel at a loss, and yes, I get that I am attached to a certain outcome. But sometimes it’s ok just to be sad.
I’m not sure if I am doing the right thing; open to suggestions here.
One thing I do know… I do not want to live in the paradigm where there is not enough to give. Especially to our children.
On the flip side: the auction raised more money than any other year, and I see how I can be more involved to help other parents feel more of a part of it.
p.s. we meditated on the Buddha of Infinite Light and embodied it as we took the pain of others and transmuted it. If we can take in such pain, what else can we transmute… the paradigm of not enough?