We have a lot of stuff. I know this. It's a function of being a modern, well-to-do family living in North America. But it's never as apparent as when we're in the middle of one our our umpteenth moves.
Because that is when I come face to face with the sum of our material wealth.
And it's not just that we are well stocked in the necessities like clothes, pots and pans or basic toys for the girls. It's that we also have ski suits, juicers and toys for my daughters' toys. So much that moving from our temporary condo into our "permanent" house still entails multiple carloads of things. And this is still just a fraction of our total possessions.
Mostly I don't fret about the things. In fact, I know we work hard to be able to afford these comforts. We don't spoil our girls and don't frivolously buy new clothes or furnishings.
But this week, of all weeks, I can't get the images of families fleeing Syria, with only the clothes on their backs. I can't help but see their sadness and suffering and anxiety – not because they've had to leave everything they know and have, but because they don't know what the future holds. They don't have any plans. They don't know how to keep their kids safe. Forget happy. Just safe.
And really, it's the kids for me. How do you comfort those kids? I simply just can't imagine holding the Bug and Peanut and running for our lives. I can't fathom having to look into their eyes and have no assurances or explanations to give them. I can't bear to think about the fear in their hearts. Their little hearts. That should be so full of simple things like going back to school or playing with their friends.
Not fleeing for their lives.
All I can see, is not the piles of goods in front of me. It's the hands of the mothers gripping for dear life the hands of their precious little ones. And little else.
And if it was a simple matter of asking me to do without half my things if it meant that all of these mothers' children would slept well and safe tonight, I would certainly do it.
But it isn't that simple. And all I can do is feel heartbreak and donate money that I hope can help.
So yeah, this move is harder for me than most in the past.
Yes, I know that there have always been areas of strife, people wronged by the simple fact of the geography in which they were born. Every day, somewhere. But right now, we can't ignore what is happening because it's easier and less painful to think about new school supplies and new clothes and the latest home furnishings.
Each day I am aware that this great lottery of life has meant that I was given the chance to do everything I have done. But that also means that I believe that I have some responsibility to those that were dealt a different hand in this game.
So tonight, yes our move is on my mind. But mostly, I go to sleep thanking my lucky stars that this move is entirely of our choice and free will. That my girls lay sleeping in safe, warm beds. That I am not facing the unthinkable realities countless other families are tonight.
Tonight, I pray for all of those children not in beds. I pray they will find one soon. Through the humanity and compassion of those that won their lottery of life.