How “Wife Swap” could change me…

March 28, 2006 at 2:47 am (Personal)

Maybe it's just the monthly female hormones talking. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for a sad child's face. Whatever the reason, it was as if a Hallmark moment occurred in my apartment this evening as I watched the reality television show, Wife Swap. (Yes, I just admitted to watching a reality show. I swear it was a one-time thing. Nothing else was on. Really!)

The boy I'm speaking of was the recipient of the temp mom that came from a world of cheerleading, wrestling, and a variety of social activities for her own children. The boy himself was the child of parents who made their living as side-show performers. The family lives were quite different in that the the temp mom's kids were obviously very socially active whereas the side-show kids were often left to their own devices.

In one scene, temp mom watched the daughter get herself out of a straight jacket. She made sounds of impression then asked the younger son what he could do. He sat on her lap with the absolute saddest face I've seen and replied, "They just let me play video games."

OH! My heart totally broke when I saw that face! It was as if I was reliving my own childhood – and now adulthood to some extent – through that split second moment. No kid should have to feel they can't do anything. No kid should have to sit around and play video games all day.

So, how may this episode change my life? It occurred to me that though I have a desire to teach young children someday that I haven't done anything to feel out if that field is right for me. Also, I have had this tremendous feeling that I'm not doing anything for the world. You know, that "I'm so insignificant… I need to do something more fulfilling," feeling? So, I've decided to find a children's hospital or a library and donate some of my time to entertain or tutor less fortunate children.

Now all I have to do is follow through with these compassionate feelings. Hopefully the motivation will last past the monthly female hormones as they wane this week. Hopefully I will actually find something to help me feel "more fulfilled" while making a 6 year old smile when asked, "What do you like to do?"

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1 Comment

  1. Maria said,

    You know, I read this post last night, and what interested me was your “nagging” feeling of wanting to do something for the world.

    This morning Joey found this story of a Cactus Rescue Crew in Arizona. They show up at places destined to be developed, and save the desert flora before the bulldozer comes to clear the land. The story talks about cactus species like the one that takes 60-80 years to grow an arm, or the one that flowers only ONE night a year.

    I like these stories of people that have a calling to matter and contribute, and somehow find a way to do it. It doesn’t matter how small or significant, or if it is children, plants, or land that you try to save, or help. We really need people like that, so I’m also hoping you won’t forget after the hormones go.

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