Today I had a little reminder to check my privilege.
After seeing a comment and message about some of the options I had on my “no screens activity list”, I wanted to explain something.
Well, a couple of things, actually.
The options on that list weren’t meant to be me showing off. My kids came up with 90% of what was there. It’s a big list, and we are definitely privileged to have so many options available to us.
But here’s the thing: we have so many options for two big reasons.
First, I live very frugally. I save, shop sales, thrift shop and watch community sites where people near me are passing things on for a reasonable price.
Second, I am a huge proponent of good old fashioned imagination. What we can’t do, we imagine.
For example: one person commented about how lucky we were to have a pool, hot tub and atv as options.
She’s right. We really, really are.
Behold: our pool and “hot tub”. If the kids sit still, they can all sit in the pool at the same time. One of our old neighbors gave it to us. The “hot tub” they fill up and then let it sit in the sun to warm up. It’s a solo venture. I picked up that bucket for $5 at Value Village.
The atv is a little electric kids size one we picked up. The clubhouse? If you look closely you can see our old Fisher Price house tucked back in the trees– now repurposed into their “clubhouse”. I really splurged and paid $25 for it at a yard sale a few years back.
It’s not fancy, but they love it… and I love seeing their imaginations at work.
Most of the options on that list can be found at Dollarama, on YouTube, at thrift shops or for dirt cheap on sale sites. The toy options on the list I’ve been collecting for nine years as we’ve gone through each kid.
I would never share something I thought wasn’t accessible or available to many, or that was showing off in any way.
It was good reminder for me about perception, and how language can be interpreted in so many way. I can see how someone could perceive this list as showing off wealth and privilege.
In a way, it’s true. I AM privileged.
I’m privileged that my children haven’t grown out of their imaginations. That they are still willing to see an old bucket as their “hot tub” and a toddler’s play house as the center of their “club” operations.
I feel privileged to live so close to nature… to be able to give my children that piece of my 1990s childhood– the ability to roam outside. To see trees. To romp in the dirt.
I feel privileged that my children love thrifted items. That Dollarama is one of their favorite stores. That they are willing and excited to repurpose gifted things that were used and loved by someone else.
I feel so privileged that I have these options available to me. I know not everyone does.
So, yes. I really am privileged.
I acknowledge that.
And I’m so grateful for it.
It just maybe wasn’t in the way you’d first think.