It's not fair
My eight year old son is a study in opposites. One minute he's smiling and laughing and gushing over something. And then, in fully less than three seconds, you can see his face change, and he comes out with his most-used expression.
"It's not fair!"
Apparently it 'wasn't fair' last school holidays when the kids group got to make tool boxes. The leader made *practically ALL* of his friend's box. He had to make his (gasp!) on his own.
Apparently it 'wasn't fair' last night when we had special lights up for Carols by Candlelight because the lights were attached to the tree. The one that he likes to climb. The one that he couldn't climb for *one* evening. The *one* evening he had a dozen friends there to play with, plus a petting zoo, plus electric candles, plus two parents stuck in the band, unable to police him so he could pretty much do whatever he wanted, except for obviously, the thing he wanted to do, which was climb the tree, okay?
Golly gosh, it's boring.
I used to listen to his complaints and try to be reasonable about it. Now, I can recognise the 'not fair' face in a split second and I just don't even want to hear it.
'It's not fair' is the cry of our lives, don't you think? We pick some tiny complaint we have, look at another person who doesn't have the same issue and declare that we are hard-done by, that we are victimised, that everyone in the world has it in for us.
I get so annoyed with my son's descriptions of his woes and yet half an hour later I'm doing exactly the same thing (albeit in a more sophisticated, age-appropriate kind of way). Waah. My son has autism. Boo hoo. I have belly fat.
I need to take some of my own advice to my son, which of course, is this:
"People don't want to hear about your complaining. They want to hear about a solution to the problem."
"Gee whiz. Is it gonna kill you? Label your problem from level 1 to level 10. Will you survive?"
"Have you considered that in being left to make your own tool box, you've now got skills that your friend doesn't have? Maybe he's saying 'it's not fair because I didn't get to make my own box'. Y'know?"
"Bad things happen."
"The world is broken."
"What are you going to do about it?"
"Suck it up, princess."
I find myself apologising to God a bit. "Sorry. It's pointless complaining about it. Can you help me find a solution, and maybe some new skills?"
It's never going to be fair. It's just not. But we can fix stuff, at least a little bit. And things are on their way to being fair, in the end. Sometimes we just have to wait a little. And help each other.