Wasting Stickers

If you give Wildling a pack of stickers, within moments there will be stickers everywhere. She especially likes to put them on the tile floor, but she is willing to also cover windows, countertops, and her little sister.

If you give Wildling a bag of candy, like the kind parents give out at birthday parties, she will immediately devour as much as possible before I take it away.

Wildling will wear new clothing the second she gets home, or sometimes sooner. I’ve had to let her change at the store before because she just couldn’t wait.

These are things I admire about her.

When I was a child, if you gave me stickers, I would save them. I didn’t want to use them up, didn’t want to ‘waste’ them. I enjoyed the act of possessing them, but couldn’t bring myself to use them, because then they would be gone and I would have nothing. I was the kid who saved my Valentine’s chocolate until it went bad, because I wanted to save it for a special occasion. I had a pencil collection once, and it sat in a box for years. Occasionally I would take a pencil out and admire it, or line them all up to look at the pretty colors and designs, but then I’d put them back. I donated that collection years ago, without ever having used a single pencil – without ever having had the enjoyment, the experience of using a single one of those fancy pencils.

I wish I could have been more like Wildling.

I try to let it go. I try to use things as I get them, rather than hanging on for some future potential occasion. But it’s hard for me to do.

I sometimes cringe when Wildling puts an entire sheet of stickers on the floor (or on Mellow’s back!) because all I can think is how wasteful it is, how now those stickers are used up. But they aren’t. She got satisfaction out of the act of using them, and she is not burdened by having to find a place to store stickers she will never use. She will not have to hold on to them and worry if the time is ever right, if she is ever comfortable enough to use them.

Wildling is confident. She knows there will always be more stickers. She has the freedom of knowing that if she puts stickers on the floor, and they are cleaned up and thrown away, someday she will get new stickers. She does not have to be a slave to her possessions, holding on to them tightly for fear of using and wasting them. She is not afraid.

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2 thoughts on “Wasting Stickers

  1. I love her spirit, and your appreciation of it. I bought my oldest a Beanie Baby when she was very young. She wanted to play with it, but I put it on a shelf. “It might be worth something someday!” I explained. Then I realized it was worth something, today. So I took it down, removed the tag, and let it be loved.

    • I forgot about beanie babies! It’s funny, but I felt a strange angst the first time I cut the tag off of one to give to Wildling. Thank you for letting your daughter’s beanie baby be loved.

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