So far, this summer has been known as The Summer of Fairness.
My shorties have a case of the Not-Fairsies something awful. If I hear the phrase, "It's not fair!" one more time, cartoon steam will shoot out of my ears and then my head will explode into tiny bits.
I know that I have mentioned in the past that I detest when people misuse the word, "literally". The word "literally" literally makes me want to scream my head off.
In the literal sense.
But this time I'm literally going to explode, friends. It's that bad. My kids' campaign for complete and total fairness in our house is killing my brain like a poisonous mushroom.
See? Now I'm quoting Vanilla Ice. The brain decay has commenced.
It all started at the beginning of summer when my two oldest boys attended a daytime basketball camp at the local Catholic high school one week, and my other son attended football camp.
My 4-year old daughter, who is my youngest child, ran errands with me on the mornings that her brothers were in their camps. One morning, when she was being particularly helpful and well-behaved, I stopped at McDonald's to get her a berry fruit smoothie. When we picked up her brothers from their camps, they saw the empty cup in one of the cup holders of the minivan. All heck broke loose.
"NO! FAIR!" one of them yelled indignantly. "Why did she get a smoothie and we didn't?!? That's so unfair! She gets everything fun!"
All three of them then proceeded to whine and moan about the unfairness of it all.
Need I mention that the shortie who started the chorus of whines had just spent three hours at football camp, running around a great, big, fun, high school football field with his friends? That his mouth still had evidence of pizza sauce around its edges from the end-of-camp pizza party that he just attended? That his hands were full of fresh trinkets that he had won as prizes? That his body was clad in a brand-new shirt and shorts bearing the camp's name?
Sigh. If only 6-year olds could detect irony.
The whining about fairness and equity has gone on and on all summer long, when one child is asked on a playdate, and the other three are stuck at home. Or one child gets the chance to run a special errand with Bill or I. Or one child seemingly gets a slightly larger scoop of ice cream. Or two children are at the grocery store with me and happen to get a free cookie while my other two children are "suffering" at a baseball practice. Or one child gets invited to two birthday parties in one month, and another gets invited to zero. I am told how unfair it is. On and on the whining goes. And on.
A girl could scream.
This girl has screamed.
While we are on the topic of fairness, do you know what's not fair? That I have to eat the rejected, slightly burnt piece of chicken because the shorties won't touch it. (Ironically, shortie logic will tell you that boogers are occasionally edible, but a perfectly tasty piece of chicken that is oh-so-slightly browner than the rest is absolutely inedible. Go figure.)
That I have to re-mop my freshly washed kitchen floor because a full cup of sticky apple juice accidentally fell to the floor and managed to splash the baseboards in even farthest corner of the kitchen.
That I have to listen to the movie, "Cars" for the 427th time over the speakers while driving the minivan, when I'd much rather listen to Pitbull and Ne-Yo sing to me that I should, "Grab somebody sexy and tell 'em, 'Hey!'"
That even though I wear about 10% of the clothes in the laundry baskets, I must wash 100% of them.
That the latest episodes of iCarly take preference over a show that I would rather watch. (Because really? I MUST bite my tongue when watching this show. Spencer is a responsible, totally mature guardian to Carly, and she has her own internet webcast? Really? REALLY???)
That I have a wicked purple bruise on my right thigh courtesy of a stray Croc shoe that managed to trip me and then launch me directly into the sharp corner of an open kitchen cupboard.
But I don't really care about any of these things. Not one of these problems-that-aren't-really-problems is worth the breath that it takes to form a complaint.
Because life, as they say, is not fair.
But my love is.
Each of my shorties has an equal piece of my heart. My overflowing, bursting-with-love heart, and somehow these supposed, "inequities" in our everyday life have a way of evening themselves out.
Deep down I know my shorties know this, and I am thankful that their resentments don't last.
Because we have love, and our love is the equalizer.