Everyday here has been very dreary and rainy so when it appeared to be sunny, I decided to wash my car. If I’m not short on time, I’ll wash it at home and really take the time to detail it too. Now that my kids are old enough, they all help out, including the toddler.
The start of washing the car is always fun and playful. Lots of energy and laughs are heard as we work. The car will look clean but upon closer inspection, there are lots of dirty spots left and one has to go closer and really clean it well. That’s when the kids start to lose stamina. By that time, the 7 and 3 year old are gone and my 12 year old is there.
The longer we toil, the sun starts to beat down upon us and the drying of the car gets much harder. After it’s carefully dried off, it’s time to wax it. Most of my energy is gone but I am determined to finish the task. My 12 year old starts to whine about the heat and asking when will we be done.
As I listened to her complain, I realized that the young generation is afraid and intolerant of manual labor. We have an entire generation of children who don’t have a sense of what it takes to upkeep a car. My dad made me wash and clean my own car as a teen in hopes that I take care of it, which did work for me. Now, it’s just way easier to plop money down and have another person do it. We’ve lost out on a very simple lesson.
When we aren’t taught the skills and given a push to complete something, we lose sight of how good we have it. We have a hard time valuing the many blessings we have because we don’t see what it took to get to us.
A clean car, an abundance of food, and modernity are so easily taken for granted by those not involved with the tasks to produce it.
This Christmas season will be to stop and appreciate what we have and teach my children to do the same. By teaching them how to care for the belongings they have, I hope that they won’t be afraid to work hard for what they have in the future. They’ve got to pay attention to detail and be a quality producer in whatever they do. There’s no shortcuts to life and if you invest the time and effort into what you do, you’ll likely be happier with the result.