it’s not fair

when i picked turbo up from school yesterday, it had been a long day. we hadn’t been back to the house since we left at 8:30 that morning, and i was exhausted. we loaded him up in good spirits until he saw the target icee cup, while almost simultaneously, sunshine spouted off about his new mcdonald’s toy and how he had not one but TWO lollipops at the doctor’s office {don’t judge. as i said, we hadn’t been home, and it was just one of “those” days.} instantly his face drooped, “did you bring me one?”

{i think inside my head : one what? one anything? nope.}

normally, we are good at remembering to grab an extra lolly for whoever is missing from the circus that day. but yesterday? well, we just didn’t.

and then, there were tears. and i’m desperately trying not to be mad, and to exercise patience, but the tired/sick/exhausted mama in me was struggling. with that you can be sure. along with the tears came the bitter sound from the back,

“it’s not fair.”

and what can i say? you’re right. it’s not fair. life’s not fair. get over it.

don’t worry, as exhausted as i was, i wasn’t that harsh, but inside my head it did sound like that. instead i lamely tried to explain how when sunshine was a baby, turbo and i got to go out and do things and get treats when sunshine couldn’t. so, see? life, it has a way of balancing out.

six year olds don’t get that. more tears and lashing out ensued.

later on, i couldn’t help but chew on that underlying fact,

“it’s not fair.”

it’s not just something little kids say when they’re upset, it’s a fact. life truly isn’t fair. this got me wondering how do we go through life without feeling a bitterness towards others who have it better than us? who are healthier than us? who are happier than us? who have more money than us? who have the life we think we deserve? because if you get tied up in that, i can tell you the bitterness will eat. you. alive.

right now, i can think of a handful of people who could easily fall into this bitter trap of “it’s not fair” :

  • a family dealing with terminal cancer
  • a family losing their home
  • a family dealing with a life-long illness
  • a family who’s struggling financially

…and that’s not looking at the wider, global perspective : people living on the streets, starving children, the sick with no access to medical care. the point is, my 6 year old is right. it isn’t fair, and if we stew on that it will pull us down.

so how do we avoid this? i’ve been knawing on this for over a day now, and i think it all boils down to :

our reaction.

how we react to our life, the situations we’re dealing with, the hand we’ve been dealt…our reaction will form us. for good or for bad, it will form the person we become.

we can react by comparison, bitterly comparing our lives to those of others, feeling bad for ourselves, having pity parties until that becomes who we are; a bitter person wallowing in a trough of “it’s not fair.”

or, we can react positively, and instead of comparing, start by simply seeking gratitude for the little things in our lives, regardless of our circumstances. focusing on what you have and not what you don’t, or what you’ve lost. at first they may be tiny, insignificant details, but over time, your heart will change and you will come to realize how blessed you are. maybe not monetarily, or health-wise, or lifestyle-wise, but blessed in some way shape or form.

imagine then, if our thankful reactions are rooted in faith. through faith, we can ensure a positive outcome despite our circumstances. when we focus on His promises, it’s not hard to see that despite the hand we are dealt now, eventually the playing field will be leveled for those who believe.

*For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.* {jer 29:11}

*He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.* {rev 21:4}

*  *  *  *  *

later, turbo and i sat on the swing outside and talked about the way he felt {sad/mad}, and how regardless of what happens when he’s at school or how many treats sunshine gets and he doesn’t, we still love him very much and miss him very much.

we discussed how lucky he is to have the opportunity to go to school {that was a hard sell}, and we discussed better, more positive ways to react. instead of getting bitter and lashing out, to talk to me, let me know how he’s feeling, ask for a special date for just him and i. because when you react positively with kind, understanding, the answer will always be,


Sylvia Ibarra (Eoff) - Stace – Just came across your blog recently and I have to say, your entries are so heart warming and REAL not to mention, at times, freakin’ hilarious. Reminds me of all the fun we had on our soccer team just being silly – Glad to see you happy being a momma to 3 beautiful kids! 🙂

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