When I was a kid two of the things I wanted were “a warm home” and “hot food to eat.” I did not always get those during Christmas. During Christmas it was harder to deal with not having hot food than other times of year. I was wishing for Santa to bring hot food… while other kids were wishing for stupid things like a pony, or Optimus Prime, or the Millennium Falcon. **Of course, now that I have seen Star Wars… I would have also wished for the Millennium Falcon.**
My childhood is one of the reasons I am a good fit as a foster parent. Because I was a foster kid for a while… and I know Christmas is a challenging time of year for foster kids. When I was a kid I did not fully understand the Make-A-Wish foundation. I remember there were kids who got to go to Disney World, or meet a football player… but I was always jealous. I remember thinking: Those kids already have food and a home. Why do they also get to go to Disney World? … all I want is hot food… that has to be an easier wish to grant than Disney World!
Now that I am older the Make-A-Wish foundation does not anger me, because I now know those kids had cancer or some life threatening issue. But my living circumstances were potentially life threatening… which is why I was moved into foster care.
But this got me thinking… did any of those childhood “wishes” translate into adulthood desires?
As an adult is my home always stocked with food? You bethca.
Unless there is a power outage, is the heat always available to be turned on at my house? Check.
Do I always have a working stove to make hot food? Of course… or I eat out.
As an adult, do I own a Jeep Wrangler? Nope.
Wait a second.
A Jeep Wrangler?
When I was a kid I owned a toy jeep. It was black, probably about a foot long, and maybe 8 or 10 inches wide. That jeep was one of the toys that I loved playing with a lot… and I missed it when my mom gave away a lot of my toys. I always put my toys away. My mom thought that because my toys were always in the same spot at night, that I never played with them during the day. So she gave my toys away. The jeep was one of my favorites. For at least five years after that my mom had to deal with my toys being on the floor, the table, or outside… because I was afraid to put them away.
Anyway, in my heart I still want a jeep. My brain says “no way” to owning a jeep. In 2007 when I was looking for a new vehicle, I strongly considered getting a jeep. I am guessing that desire was related to my childhood toy. But in 2007 I bought a Honda Civic instead. The gas mileage scared me away from the Jeep Wrangler. Because of my environmental concerns, the idea of owning a Jeep Wrangler still causes cognitive dissonance for me.
The Honda Civic was the best vehicle I’ve ever owned… but I still want a jeep. Those toys, and that toy jeep, were given away over 30 years ago. And I know the only reason I want a jeep now is because of the toy I owned as a kid. I also know my desire to own a jeep is stronger because my toy jeep was given away.
Even though I know why I want a jeep… and even though I know the reasons why I should NOT own a jeep… I still want a jeep. Ridiculous? Yep. But owning a jeep… is going on my bucket list… and probably a Christmas list.
Has something from your childhood impacted your Christmas wish list?