You know those "needy, needy" children - who are always "needing" more? It almost feels like they are a bottomless pit. Whatever you give is not enough. Between your time and your money and your resources and your energy and your food and your sleep and your attention and your affection and your mind! Some kids just know how to get the biggest bang for their buck!
And then you have the kids that are just OK with whatever is given to them. They aren't needy at all. In fact, you sometimes wonder if they have any needs at all. It's ok if someone takes their seat and it's ok if they didn't weren't the first on line and it's ok if they didn't get the most nosh in the class and it's ok if Mommy didn't lay down with them at bed time and it's ok if they didn't go skiing during midwinter vacation.....
And then you have the kids that lay somewhere in between.
They need this but they don't need that. They'll make a stink about someone sitting in their chair, but they don't mind having cereal and milk for breakfast lunch and supper. They're very flexible if someone happens to break their toy that they worked so hard on but they need constant stimulation to keep busy.
These are kids.
Do adults work the same way?
I think so.
When this topic came into my head - my thoughts went back to when I first got married. I was looking for a house to live in and my husband - being the wonderful man that he is - wanted to make sure that I was 150% happy with the home. So we went around from apartment to apartment - and for some reason, I came out of each apartment with a bigger pit in my stomach then I came in with. I remember not even being able to verbalize why I was so not happy. So I continued to scout around, hoping that my feelings will somehow disappear.
In the end, we settled on an apartment that had big windows, hardwood floor and lots of people in close proximity. I thought it was good. But for some reason, I wasn't 100% satisfied. I ended up living there for 2 years, then moved, then moved again..... until I am where I am today. I am married 81/2 years now (B"H) and the thought just popped into my head yesterday. I finally got the answer to the cause of my feelings then! (Some people have a slower emotional I.Q. :-))
I was never content with my apartment because I never wanted an apartment! I had wanted a house that I could call my own. I wanted to buy not rent. I wanted a big spacious kitchen with lots and lots of light and windows..... And I knew in my deepest subconscious that this was unrealistic. We were all of 21 and 23 years old. Who can afford that at that age? And not only that but we had chosen a life of kollel. How on earth were we going to live on that standard when our income was this low....
So I gave up my feelings because they were unrealistic. And I decided to not have any needs.
Now that I think about it logically - I was so DUMB! What does having feelings have to do with reality? How would my life have changed if I would have got in touch with my real feelings? I probably would have lived in that same old apartment with windows and the floor and the neighbors, and I would've expressed my wishes for something bigger and better. My husband would have known what was really on my mind. And we would have gone through the emotions together. We would have weighed the pros and cons of each lifestyle. We would have discussed what are true values in life are. And we would have probably ended up in the same place. Or maybe not. Maybe we would have continued to live the life we chose to live and G-d would have thrown down a gift from heaven in the form of a beautiful house.
Instead I chose not to have "needs" because I wanted to play G-d. And in my eyes, my needs were "unrealistic."
This is so profound. This topic is so deep - I'm thinking about this so much lately.
I think about the concept of having children. G-d tells us to have children. Part of having children means "needing" more. We need more time, we need more energy, we need more money. And then throw in Yomim Tovim and tuition and everything else that our Jewish lifestyle entails. There are so many "needs." We have to buy the children clothing for Shabbos and Yom Tov and we have to pay for the food. We are also told to "splurge" by buying extra special items in their honor.
But it's "unrealistic."
We can't be living beyond our budget. We are barely making enough money to get by!
So we tell ourselves that we don't have any "needs." We tell G-d that we'd rather not have children then feel a place of neediness inside ourselves. We'd rather just live a simple lifestyle then come onto Him for something more. It's easier to negate our needs then make ourselves feel that sensation of LACK. We'd rather not feel that void in our lives. We'd rather just be OK with the way things are. WANTING things may just constitute too much pain.
Now when I think about the needy child versus the child that is ok with everything - I start to see them in a different light. Yes, the children that are self sufficient and don't have as many needs are a lot easier to handle in a family setting. And yes, it may be a very noisy home to have so many "needy" children under one roof. And no, I may not be able to satisfy ALL of their needs. And most probably I will not.
But one thing I know for certain: The children with the "needs" will get a lot further in their life than the children without.