When my oldest son, Reggie, was still a little boy, I would tell him that he couldn’t buy every toy that he desired in the store. I would explain to him in the simplest words that his young mind could understand, “We don’t have lots of money.” When we had to wait for the bus for half an hour because we just missed the last one, he would ask me, “Why don’t we have a car? Our cousins do.” I would tell him, “Because cars are expensive and we don’t have lots of money.”
I didn’t realize then if he understood what I had been explaining to him. That is, until I read what he had written on his Grade 2 school journal. I knew that his teacher always read and checked her students’ journals. At first I didn’t know if I would be embarrassed or proud of the journal entries below.
October - All about Thanksgiving
On Thanksgiving, we eat turkey but some of us don’t eat turkey because we don’t have lots of money. Some of us celebrate Thanksgiving and some of us decorate our house and some of us put lots of decorations and some of us put a little bit of decoration because we don’t have lots of money.
December - My Christmas Wish
The people that don’t have our stuff are very poor because they don’t have lots of money. If there are sick kids I wish somebody can give them a present.
Now, I don’t know if “We don’t have lots of money” follows correct grammar. Should it be “We don’t have a lot of money”? And we don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving at home. I grew up in the Philippines and we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving there. Thanksgiving is just another day off for me. Also, I prefer chicken to turkey.
I guess in the end, I felt more proud than embarrassed of his journal entries. He was getting what I was trying to teach him.
Reggie, by the way, is now 15 years old and will start Grade 11 next week. His writing has become a lot better and deeper. He still understands that we don't have a lot of money and that he can't buy every CD that he desires in the store.