Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I've talked before a bit about the sacrifices we've made so one of us can be with our kids and we won't need daycare. For the most part, I'm completely OK with those sacrifices, and I don't do a lot of comparing my situation with others who may have housekeepers or new clothes (not that I'm paying attention). But the other day jealousy hit with surprising force.

We were at the UU service, waiting for it to begin. I was sitting in my chair, and the boys were sitting in the smaller blue chairs lined up by the "altar" for the kids in front of me. A little boy came and sat next to Al., wearing a Camp Galileo T-shirt. We had a visiting minister from another state, who smiled and asked the boy about Camp Galileo.

I would love to send A. to Camp Galileo. They have themes he would love, like the Greek Gods and all kinds of science experiments. A. read the brochure and was excited. I applied for a scholarship last year and was thrilled to receive the letter that we'd been granted one...until I called to enroll him and found that it was only good for one particular week, the July 4th holiday week (so it was only 3 days anyway), which was the one week we'd be out of town. I was pissed (I thought they should have revealed the limitations up front so kids didn't get all excited deciding which camp they wanted to attend; each week is a different theme) but I knew beggars can't be choosers, so I never said anything to A. and as far as I know he forgot about it.

So, anyway. Cry me a fucking river, I know. Big f-in' deal. Kid goes to private Montessori school, has everything he needs and has at least one reasonably attentive parent home with him almost all the time. So I was really surprised to be hit with such a strong club of jealousy when I saw that kids' shirt. Something about not being able to send him to that camp when this other kid sitting right next to him got to go, made me feel like a failure.

But that's ridiculous. As a therapist, I know more than most, perhaps, that money does not make you happy. I remind myself all the time of how lucky I am, how lucky we are...not everyone's that lucky.

Some people are dealing with way bigger obstacles than not being able to afford science camp. So if you feel blessed, like I do, please consider helping out a good mother who is keeping it together for her kids and making some awesome grilled cheese sandwiches with no help from their father. People don't get what they deserve in this life, but sometimes we can help with that.


Anonymous said...


Just because your struggles are different, doesn't make them any less... struggling...?
I hope that makes sense.
Over here, there are more Nannies, than not. I've watched children get hurt at baseball games, on and off the field, and watch them run to the Nanny for comfort. Some because Mom and Dad can't even be bothered to attend the game... and others, even though Mom and Dad are in the stands.
They send their children to any/all camps, after school activities, etc. Breaks my heart.

I get the jealousy. I felt the same, being a single Mom that couldn't afford to get Daisy involved in all that she wanted to be involved in.
So I bought supplies, relearned things I'd long forgotten and tried to make up for it myself.

There's always another side to the coin though.
A is far more brilliant than the average kid. Odds are, he would have been unsatisfied with the camp. Heck, within a day, given his thirst for knowledge... he would have known more than the teachers and corrected their errors, which they would be less than pleased about, etc.
I know it probably won't help much, but that other kid probably 'needed' that camp. A, has everything he needs, right at home.

gwendomama said...

i love you.
thank you.

Lunasea said...

Thanks, P, that's really sweet.

GM, back atcha.

G said...

How bout we shoot for next summer? Once the boys have the swimming thing down, it frees up substantial dinero!

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