When the rest of your family lives in a cold, wintery wonderland (Massachusetts) and you live in a sunny, palmtree filled paradise (Florida)… your house becomes the inexpensive vacation destination for the family.
And I’m OK with that.
It’s currently summer time and our latest visitors, who were fresh out of grade school for the year and ready for some fun, were our two adorable nieces (ages eight and ten) who stayed with us for a week.
An incredibly long… screaming… sticky… timeout filled… week.
But more on that in a bit.
Among the FUN highlights of their Tampa vacation were four trips to Busch Gardens where they rode roller coasters and ate Dippin’ Dots, Sunday brunch at our favorite restaurant Jackson’s Bistro, a boat ride in Tampa Bay, hours in the pool under the sun (and moon) plus lots of video games.
Overall, it was a great week.
However one issue kept coming up… fairness.
(gotta block kids faces… cuz… ya know… people are crazy)
The Imaginary Global Fairness Policy
Being an adult in today’s modern society comes with the realization that a few things you were told as a kid might not of really been true. For example:
- No, my eyes will not get crossed if I sit too close to the television.
- No, eating all my spinach will not make me big and strong.
- No, graduating school will not guarantee I get a good job.
- And no, the world is not fair.
That last one is hard to swallow.
Sure, some kids hit the gene pool lottery and are born with parents that have millions of dollars, multiple homes and travel the world effortlessly. Some kids are born in a grass hut in the middle of the jungle and have to eat crushed bugs.
No, it’s not fair… but that’s the way the world works and we as adults understand this concept.
However, after having two kids around me for a week…. I realized something… they think that the world is fair.
In their little heads they think the issue of fairness (especially when referring to equally dividing items with their siblings) seems like it should be the rule of the land. It’s apparently how everyone and everything should operate.
As you can imagine this leads to some fierce sibling battles, such as… “She played three more minutes of Mario Kart than me! That’s not fair!” and “Why does she get to choose the music, she chose last time, she’s your favorite!”.
Then the s’mores really set them off.
The S’Mores Dilemma
I always thought any person (even non-parents like us) can make s’mores without an incident. I was wrong.
The simple formula for an amazing s’more is this… graham crackers + marshmallows + chocolate + fire = a happy mouth.
But not just any chocolate will work in this equation.
Only the sweetest Hershey bar can grace the innards of a warm, gooey s’mores concoction.
Hershey’s must be aggressively marketing to 8 and 10 year olds because they are so passionate about the choice of chocolate that they might of lit me on fire if I bought them a GODIVA Chocolatier Dark Chocolate Blood Orange Chocolate Bar.
But, being the good Aunts and Uncles we are, we bought the classic American standard… the Hershey bar.
Standard Hershey’s chocolate bars have 4 rows with 3 pieces of chocolate in each… for a total of 12 pieces of chocolates pieces, or “pips” for all you chocolate connoisseurs out there, per bar. However, we think that, adults should get more of the good chocolatey goodness in their s’mores than kids get.
I can hear the moms and dads out there cringing at that statement thinking about how terrible we are. Save your hate mail. I know, I know… we don’t “get it” because we don’t have kids, blah blah blah. Anyway, let’s move on with the story!
We (the adults) created our s’mores first and for whatever reason, there was an odd number of chocolate pieces left. “No big deal” we thought. So we gave one niece 3 pieces of chocolate and we gave the other niece 4 pieces of chocolate.
The result of this choice was immediate…
They were the loudest tears I’ve had to listen to in a very… long… time.
The next ten minutes consisted of one kid stomping, screaming, sulking and hating everyone and the other kid happily making s’mores on the grill beside the pool. I’m sure you can imagine who is who in this story.
But we got through it. Eventually.
Things quieted down a bit, both kids were back in the pool, the two adults were watching them play while we listed to music… something hit me.
Something not good.
In that particular moment, sitting by the pool under the palm trees, rocking out to Today’s Hits on Pandora – I realized that some part of me thinks that things should be “fair”.
What? No, it couldn’t be.
Step Inside My Head
Maybe I don’t stomp and cry like they do, maybe I don’t try and hit my sisters s’mores out of her hand so she won’t have any… but I recalled many times when I have been seriously pissed off when things were not “fair”.
Around the pool everyone thought I was listening to the music and bobbing my head to the beat but I wasn’t. I was silently lipping the thoughts that have flown around my head recently. I could feel myself uncontrollably squinting and tilting my head, trying to rearrange the broken pieces upstairs.
Here are some of the less-embarrassing thought I’ve recently had:
- I workout six days a week, eat low carb and have a green-juice dinner for most days… why don’t I have a six-pack yet… that’s so unfair.
- I’ve been making websites for over 15 years and can make an amazing website quickly… why aren’t I on the cover of [insert magazine name here]… but this goober that made a iPhone fart app is… that’s not fair.
- I can pretty much make anything with WordPress, why aren’t I a multi-millionaire yet… soooooo noooooot faaaaaair!
The madness goes on and on.
I felt embarrassed that I had these thoughts. I felt embarrassed that my beautiful brain had the tendencies of an 8 year old child.
But then I found something.
No, not the broken s’mores piece on my seat which was now stuck to my butt (I found that later!). Sitting there in the warm weather with my phone in my hand, the sun setting, birds happily chirping, kids happily playing, and me silently hating myself… I stumbled upon… an article.
An amazing, perfectly-timed (for me), life changing article that YOU need to read right now.
The best part for me is the part where he talks about being a successful musician OR at least what we think a successful musician should be. The article is by Oliver Emberton (not sure who he is… but he’s my new favorite person) and you need to read this right now. Don’t put this off. This article is absolutely amazing.
Ian “The-World-Is-Not-Fair-And-That’s-OK” Anderson
PS: What is up with that crazy looking purple elephant-bird looking thing at the top of the post? Is it cute? Creepy? You decide.
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