Monday, June 30, 2008

Life Lessons

Little Mouse's birthday was over the weekend, and one of the gifts she got was an "Action Replay"--a special cartridge for her hand-held video game machine (Nintendo DS for those of you in the know). Action Replay is a product that contains all the different "cheat codes" for the video games you can play on the DS, which means that she can get unlimited money or have already caught all the critters she's supposed to catch, or what have you.

So she eagerly entered all the cheat codes for her favorite game, and spent most of the day crowing at her brother, "Look, I've got this! And this!" and "Look, I've got enough money to buy this! I bet you've never gotten so much money!"

Saturday night, after she'd gone to bed (seriously over-tired from the very late night she had Friday, and the short nights Wednesday and Thursday when she was so excited about the impending birthday that she couldn't sleep), she came downstairs in tears and told me how terrible she felt about cheating in her game. She said she felt like she'd done something wrong, and that the game wasn't going to be any fun anymore because she already had everything, and what was the point of playing anymore?

I pulled her onto my lap and hugged her and told her she hadn't done anything wrong, but that maybe she'd learned something? We talked about how we need to have goals and challenges to keep things interesting, and that if you're just handed everything you ever wanted, it's hard to stay motivated to do anything because you have nothing to strive for...and how that's as true in life as it is in video games.

She said her game was ruined now, and that she was going to start over because it just wasn't any fun anymore. Then she dried her eyes and hugged me, and I walked her back upstairs and tucked her back into bed.

I was smiling as I walked back downstairs. What a great opportunity to teach an important life lesson. I hope she remembers it and takes something from it.

Writing Prompt: What is one of the important life lessons you have learned? How did you learn it? Did you realize at the time that it was a valuable learning experience, or did that understanding come later?


Gianna said...

you're such a good mommy!

Jazz said...

Thanks, Gianna!
I will be an exhausted mommy time I'm done!

Bipolar Wellness Writer said...

Dear Jazz,
My sentiments exactly: what a terrific mom. Isn't is great when we say or do something that's so wise and such good parenting? For me, it makes up for the times I blow it, and think, "Why in the world did I say that?" (smiling face).


Jazz said...

Same here! It's nice to have a moment when you feel like you actually managed to say exactly the right thing! Doesn't happen very often, but when it does, it kind of restores my faith in myself.

Annie said...

You certainly are a good mom. I am also impressed with your child. I think I would like her if I were a child! Take all of the positives and hold them tight. Peace Annie

Jazz said...

Thanks, Annie!
She's pretty popular at school, but not in a "cliquey" sort of way, if you get what I mean. She's friends with everybody, and is happiest when everyone is getting she tries to take on the role of peacemaker, which sometimes causes her a lot of grief. But yeah, she is a great kid!

Coco said...

Jazz, how wonderful that your daughter got to the point of feeling that way instead of just shoving aside something that was 'niggling' at her concious. Her moral development seems to be developing nicely!

And she had you to go to, for support and encouragement. That is just beautiful, good job Mommy!

Sometimes I find it heartbreaking thinking of all the things these little people have to go through to grow. And it takes such strength to be there for them. That's such a huge part, for me, of why my own wellness is so important! Not that it wouldn't be important for my sake alone, but the pressure to work at it is greater for me knowing it's not really optional.

That's also why I admire people who have the strength to keep fighting WITHOUT the pressure of kids.... I think that speaks volumes about their strength and sense of self; I think I would be tempted to throw in the towel and think I wasn't worth it during the tough times.

Jazz said...

Yeah, having kids that you have to be there for makes a huge difference, I think. When I was depressed, I couldn't lie in bed all day, much as I wanted to. Those kids needed feeding, diapers needed changing...all those non-negotiable things that mommys do!