The Wisdom of Five Year Olds: How a Bad Day Turned Into a Lesson on Generosity
This was one of those days that most blogs don’t talk about.
This was one of those days that make you question your decision to uproot your life and travel the world.
This was one of the Bad Days.
One of the days that starts with the toddler waking at 5am for the 8th day in a row.
One of the days when you and your partner nit-pick at each other from the get go. Blame it on fatigue, on relentless parenting, on travel-planning-exhaustion. No matter the cause, once you wake up at each other’s throats, it’s hard to turn the day around.
One of the days where suddenly the heat that you usually love makes everyone sluggish and irritable and bored.
One of the days when the kids fight and shriek over every little thing and the toddler is so tired she just can’t cope anymore and you just can’t take it anymore.
One of the days when you get the kids out of the house by 8am for a walk just to relieve the tension, and end up buying a $12 English Muffin from the ridiculously expensive tourist-focused bakery down the street, blowing a quarter of your cash budget for the day in one fell swoop.
One of the days when you barely eat because it’s grocery day and you’re living on a minimalist meal budget so there are few options left in the house and you just don’t find anything you’re able to shove in your mouth around the chaos and you hit 11am having eaten 3 bites of the kids’ left-over english muffin and no caffeine and become a grumpy monster of a Mum.
One of those days where you discover the toddler has been drawing on the wall of the rental apartment in crayon (pro tip: WD40 will take that sh*t right off!).
One of those days when the 5 year old is begging you to play “school” with her (not with Daddy, even though Daddy is volunteering to play, because you put your game face on yesterday and made it super fun), and you just don’t have an ounce of energy left to make it happen, and you hear your partner say “Mummy doesn’t want to play with you right now, sweetheart” and it breaks your heart to hear it said so bluntly.
One of the days when you try to turn things around by getting the whiny, bored 5 year old out of the house to do the grocery run, only to have 3 bags of groceries stolen out of your golf cart.
You were just running into the third store for soy milk, and now you have to go back to the first two places to re-buy everything on tomorrow’s budget, having already spent today’s budget.
BUT… it’s also one of those days where your heart has sunk to the ground and your throat is closing up as you realize the groceries are gone, and your 5 year old says:
“Mummy, they must have needed them. They were probably kind but just hungry. We were very kind to share our groceries with them, weren’t we? I’m glad we could help them.”
In that moment, as I fight back tears at this generosity of spirit, I realize she’s right, and it turns my whole day around: we lost $40 of groceries, but in the grand scheme of things, we do have the money to go back and buy it all again.
And I hope that whoever needed those groceries that badly were able to feed themselves and their family a delicious, healthy meal with them.
Now, the kids are at the pool with Daddy and I’m getting a few desperately-needed minutes alone in the house, ignoring the laundry and dishes and dinner prep, re-living a day that will actually become a precious memory from the early days of our traveling life.
This life isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you pay attention and keep an open heart, it can teach you so much. Especially when you listen to the wisdom of a five year old.
About Meredith Kenzie
I am a full-time traveling Mum of two adorably blond and mischevious little girls (isn’t it a good thing nature makes babies so damn cute?). I love to explore new places, finding the fun little places for my littles to play, and getting immersed in different cultures. I like to write and share about our travel adventures while keeping it minimalist and vegan as much as possible! Oh, and I love yoga, ballet, reading, baking, and time with friends.
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Loved reading this story. Real life. Made me cry. Love how your daughter interpreted the situation and turned it around. Hope she keeps bringing wisdom like that to the world as she grows up.
I never get tired of reading this story. Even though I wrote it. I’m glad you enjoyed it!