Are my kids spoiled? It was a question I often asked myself every time they threw a tantrum if we left Target without a toy purchase. Or the times I had to negotiate with toddlers that mommy is not buying any toy over $5. And it wasn't that I couldn't afford it. My American-borned kids have no idea what life was like for me as a refugee child. Our first place in America was a cramped one-bedroom apartment with seven kids and parents. We were lucky to have food on the table and second-hand clothing on our backs. My parents worked seven days and nights, odd and end jobs to raise the family. And while life was financially and emotionally tough, we were happy to be living on American soil. Nothing went to waste and anything other than the basics was considered a luxury that we couldn't afford.
As I'm explaining to my 3 and 4 year old, every time they demand a senseless toy, I feel sad at the thought that they may never have an idea of what life was like for their grandparents, aunts, uncles and mom. Why their grandparents sacrificed and risked everything so that their existence could include mindless Target shopping trips.
I might sound like a version of my parents griping about 'back in the day' but those screaming moments at Target was part of what led me to the journey that I'm about to embark on. My parents are well past their 70s. My window of opportunity to capture their stories is closing. When my children are older, I want to make sure they have a 'good' idea of their family's past and how it paved the way for their futures.
I am so excited about the journey I'm about to go on. I can't believe it's taken me 37 years to do this, but they say it's never too late!
The photo below is of me, hubby and the kids.