Saturday, September 29, 2012

If the World Only Came in Fours

"They need to know at some point that the world doesn't always come in fours," came the sage advice from my friend, a mom of four.

But how much easier life would be if things did come in fours:

-if four swings always sat unoccupied at the park,

-if four equal sized cookies always remained in the cookie jar,

-if four identical coveted books always rested on the library shelves,

-if we owned four of their favorite chairs/shirts/plates/blankets/(fill in the blank with any possible household good).

But life doesn't come in fours.

That I (and they) have learned the hard way.  

Today was one of those days were the world seemed unfair because it didn't come in fours.  A few days ago, I purchased a pack of headlamps from the store.  My intent was to use at least one of the lamps on my early morning (dark) runs.  When I picked up the item, I immediately spotted the issue.  Three headlamps came in the package.  Three!  My mind jumped into the future: three little boys running around the house with headlamps attached to their noggins, one wailing in the corner and bemoaning the injustice of it all.

But then I thought about my friends advice and decided they needed to learn.  I purchased the headlamps.

Just as I thought, when I unearthed the headlamps four boys begin to count.  One.  Two.  Three.  Four...what, no four?  The wheels began to spin: who would be the odd man out?  I admitted to my anxious sons that there was only three headlamps and that meant they would have to SHARE.  A few boys gasped.

At first, it was difficult.  I had to police the exact minutes (down to the second) every single boy had with every single light.  But after a while, they passed the lights around without much supervision (some even lost interest).

I think my friend's advice is right: they need to know life doesn't come in fours (but it's certainly easier when it does).

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