Monday, March 31, 2008

A Small Obsession

Jack, my almost 7 year old, has a new obsession. On the way to my dad’s last week, we passed a tiny old dilapidated wood shack along the side of the creek bank. A gentle blow and slight push would have knocked it over. John jokingly told the boys, “That’s where you can live when you grow up.” Jack got immediately…excited.

Ever since then, he has been obsessed with the size of his future house. And not just his future house, but his current bedroom. Over the weekend, I talked him into going to look at a couple of open houses with me (my own incurable obsession). In the first house, we walked into the small mud/laundry room. I told him, “This could be your room.”

“Oh, could it be, please?” he asked me, completely serious.

“No,” I said. “This is the laundry room.”

“Well, we’d need to move that. This is a tiny room and I want it. My room right now is too big.” Know any kids that think their room is too big? I didn’t think I did either.

The next house we went to (but we didn’t get to go into because, as often is the case with children, a nature call interrupted us) had a small, fake guard shack at the entrance to the neighborhood to try to make it seem like it was worth the price they were asking for it. When we were leaving the neighborhood, Jack said, “I would totally live there.” I thought he meant the big, beautiful house on the corner. He meant the fake guard shack.

He said, “I’d have a bed and a table and I’d sit on my bed to eat.”

I said, “Where would you put the refrigerator to keep your food?”

He said, “I’d keep it somewhere else and just bring in what I needed when I needed it.” The owners of Sam's Club and Costco collectively shuttered, although they didn't know why.

I said, “Where would you put the television?”

He was quiet for a minute. “Yeah, I guess I’d need a t.v.” And then he thought about it. “No I wouldn’t. I’d just spend all of my time outside exploring. And then at night I’d go home and go to sleep.”

Yeah, right. This from a kid who gets tired after being outside for more than an hour. So I started asking him where he’d put his clothes and his toys and his Nintendo and his Playstation, etc. He answered with, “Somewhere else,” or, "I just need a little bit," or, “I don’t need it at all.”

That got me thinking. Here I am, looking at bigger houses dreaming of what I could do with more space (fill it with more clutter, perhaps). And here’s my almost 7 year old, already so wise and dreaming of downsizing and ridding his life of the clutter. Wouldn’t life be so simple in a one room shack? A bed, a table, spending your days exploring outside, and sleeping when you get tired. It makes me want to chuck it all and head for the hills, living with my family Little House on the Prairie style. But I won’t, because as much as Jack longs for that one room shack, he longs for his Nintendo and toys more. And I still long for more space to put it all in.

15 comments:

utmomof5 said...

WoW!!! My kids all think our house we have now is sooooo small becasue there is no upstairs. Seriously? I think they need a reality check.

katydidnot said...

“No I wouldn’t. I’d just spend all of my time outside exploring. And then at night I’d go home and go to sleep.”

hard to argue with that. jack's awesome.

Angie said...

Love the simplistic views of kids, especially boys.

KEEP BELIEVING

Joeprah said...

Kids are awesome, not keeping up with the Jones' just keeping it real, cool post.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Maybe he'll grow up to be a monk?

And he's a wise kid, all right...I say box up all the electronics for a month and see if he spends more time out of doors.

BusyDad said...

Hey, he'd do fine in NYC. Most people live there despite that fact. He'd live there because of that fact. Total advantage.

Loth said...

Aw, we've got a really poky cupboard under our stairs. Send him over - my own 7 year old is waiting for him with a flashlight and an eager grin!

Tara R. said...

I like the way your son thinks. I would love to downsize and get rid of a lot of accumulated 'stuff,' then I wouldn't have so much junk to dust.

Kellan said...

What a cute story! It would be much easier, wouldn't it?!

Thanks for coming by - so nice to see you. Take care- Kellan

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Show him some picture of treehouse living--I bet he'd really take to that!

It will be interesting to see where he lives when he's on his own.

LaskiGal said...

He already has a set of values. He got that from someone *wink*

"And here’s my almost 7 year old, already so wise and dreaming of downsizing and ridding his life of the clutter." Smart boy!

MJ Krech said...

Wise young man. My son was always trying to make his skateboard fly. He was obsessed with airplanes and had the science of flight all figured out at five. You just had to make the wings bigger...or lighter...or run faster before jumping off the garage roof... or out of the tree house...

Robin said...

I have to say when I was little I also wished for nothing more than a little place that WAS ALL MINE. I did get over it and enjoy my home now.

Woo hoo, I found another woman engineer blogging. You even have a house full of boys too (and my sincere sympathy)

Kathy said...

Wow, my kids always complain that their rooms are too small. They also value their electronics. This family would have a hard time with that life, but I guess it's what you get used to. Doesn't sound like you will be moving to the woods any time soon though! He sounds like a good kid.

www.kathy-iamwhoiam.blogspot.com

Damama T said...

I have this vision flash of him being a forest ranger. I can see him high atop a look-out station surveying his domain and living in a cabin in the woods. Have you thought about getting him into cub scouts? If not, I bet he'd love it.