As I mentioned before, Jer and I made a lot of sacrifices for me to stay home with the kids. Cloth diapers saved us a ton. Cutting everyone hair I figured saved us several hundred dollars a year.
That started with cutting Jer’s hair. Annie was only a few months old when he asked me to try. I remember standing in the kitchen, the sun poured through the patio door as Jer sat in the chair. I had never cut hair before, never been shown how or had a single lesson. Nervously I began and completed. It wasn’t too bad.
Jer’s parents didn’t approve. I have to admit Jer had a few really bad haircuts over the years. They offered to pay. They would ask him if I cut his hair. Jer would ask what they thought. When they couldn’t tell the difference between a professional cut and mine, they stopped their fussing.
We all learned to appreciate what we had. Jer’s folks did help us out from time to time, as did my parents, who made sure we had milk and peanut butter. You know, the main staples of life. I made homemade freezer jam. It took nineteen batches to last us all year. My kids tell me now how I ruined them. They hate store bought jam. Needless to say, we ate a lot of peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
One time Hue spent the night with Jer’s parents. His shoes were worn out. The sole of his shoe had become unglued and would flap as he walked. Jer’s dad took one glance at them and immediately took him to the store to buy him a new pair of tennis shoes.
Hue was elated. Jer’s dad took it a step further by taking his old shoes and gluing them. When he handed them back to him, Hue look up at his grandpa with his big puppy dog eyes and asked if he would like to take his new shoes back. He meant it. It moved Jer’s parents to see such appreciation. The understanding of not feeling like you need more when what you have is enough.
There’s nothing wrong with having nice things but it’s easier to appreciate them when you know what it’s like to go without or at least have to wait until it's really needed.