When I was 5-years-old, my BFF was Jennifer. She lived around the corner from me. Jennifer lived in a big, giant house. She had a pool and one of those kid-sized, convertible, ride-on electric cars. She had a queen-sized bed in her room with her own TV. And her basement looked like a Pottery-Barn-inspired toy room complete with a chalkboard and a teepee.
I don’t remember being jealous of Jennifer but I do remember wondering what it was like to be Jennifer. I mean, this girl had hundreds (if not thousands) of Garbage Pail Kids. Does anyone remember them? The Pokemon cards of the 80s? She had ’em all. Bad Brad. Up Chuck. Half Nelson. Acne Amy. There they were – in the palm of her hand.
Well the other day, Annie Bea (5-years-old) asked me a question that took me back to those childhood days with Jennifer.
Annie Bea: Are we poor?
Me: No. Why?
Annie Bea: Because we don’t have a house with stairs.
Annie Bea: I want a big house with stairs.
We were in the pool so I laid her on her back and held her up while she stared at the sky.
Me: Do we have fun?
Annie Bea: Yes.
Me: Do we have music?
Annie Bea: Yes, we have Alexa.
Me: And do we have tons of friends and family to play with and call on the phone and take vacations with?
Annie Bea: Yes.
Me: And do you have a dad who tells you funny stories and plays Barbies with you? And a brother who protects you on the playground? And a dog who licks your face? And a mom who holds you tight and keeps you afloat?
Annie Bea: What’s afloat?
In the age of Kim Kardashians and Paris Hiltons and social media – there are wealthy, privileged Jennifers everywhere you turn. Our kids have so much to want. So much to crave. So much stuff. So many things. But it’s up to us to teach them what the real riches in life are.
Meanwhile, the other day we were in a store and Annie Bea tried on some expensive Gucci sunglasses. She looked in the mirror and gasped, “Oh my goodness! These glasses are sooo honey.”
Great. She’s inventing her own catch phrases now.
Look out, Kim Kardashian. Annie Bea is here and she’s so honey.