You Don’t Need It… You Want It!

Now that the election is over, and the junk mail that political candidate send out are no longer bombarding our mailboxes, the holiday catalogs are finally making their way to our mailboxes. Unfortunately, in my house, somehow in among some of that junk mail, my son has been able to find the toy catalogs.

I have been saying this since our oldest was three, but the Rookie is this year realizes that he can start to make a Christmas list. There was a gleam in his eye the moment he opened the first catalog. At first, it was merely just pointing at the things that he wanted. It wasn’t too long before the “things I want” list grew and there was no way that we were going to be able to keep track without him circling the toys.

It wasn’t but a few days after that that his want turned into, “I need this” as he pointed to the various amount of toys that he had circled. In the back of my head, I heard my mother saying, “‘you don’t need it, you want it, ” and it didn’t take longer for my mom reminding me of those words in my head that the exact words were coming out of my mouth telling my son the exact same thing.

His birthday falls a month before Christmas which tends to makes matters worse. Knowing this, he makes his list just that much longer thinking that everything he circles he is going to get.

This has been a long time coming with the Rookie. It seems as though the moment we hit the driveway and see a package on the front step, he thinks it is for him, and seeing that it is a part for the dryer that I need to fix he gets upset. Everytime grandma or aunt or someone comes to the house before he can even muster a, “I’m glad you are here!” he says, “What did you get me?”

The moment the “I need this” starting coming from him as he was looking at the latest Toys-R-Us catalog I cringed. Then it came out again a few days later, and I twitched as I heard my mom in my head.

“You don’t need it… you want it. Understand that not everything you circle in that catalog, you will get.”

“But I need all of this!!”

“Why? Why do you need it?”

“Just because I do…”

That was pretty much how our conversation went. It pained me each step of the way telling him that he didn’t need anything. That all those toys up in his room he didn’t need. He didn’t need an Apple iWatch that Target claims all kids need, even though he has no idea what it is. I’d like to say that I eventually got through to him because the conversation hasn’t been brought up since. Stifled by the fact that his birthday has come and gone and he “got” what he wanted.

This past week, these feelings of want and need were drilled even deeper inside of me as I was in Target and I happen to overhear a mom tell her daughter that her daughter is very noble just wanting to spend time with the family this holiday season rather than receive gifts. It was a moment that I wish my son could have been there for. It would have been a valuable teaching lesson that I am unable to get across to him.

The Rookie Dad

The Rookie Dad is father of 2, husband, TV Producer, runner, and co-founder of Dads Round Table and a contributor to Traveling Dad and Good Men Project.

Leave a Reply