The wish list
The wish list
Scott Dunlop
I don’t have a bucket list. The concept makes me too uncomfortable about my own mortality. I do have daydreams about what I’d like to do, and try to do as many new things as I can. It’s interesting how children can tap into the goals you have if you share them with them. Just this weekend James reminded us of that.

A while back- about a year or two- Karen wrote a wish list and stuck it onto the fridge. It came from the desire to move beyond where we were at the time in our too-small house with her dying car and TV that had more snow than an Alaskan winter. On the list she wrote “new house, new car, new TV.” We were pretty broke at the time so the list was a bit tongue in cheek.

Lists tend to go the way of New Year’s resolutions; they become faded reminders of what you hoped for but never saw realised.

This weekend was a brutal exodus for us as we moved house. After years of false starts we finally found a fantastic house to live in. The kids were vibrating with excitement as we took them around for the first time. They even took turns trying out the toilet. Kids, hey? You have to love them.

Hannah was most impressed with our modest living arrangement. “Dad, you know when you said the house was okay? You were wrong! It’s awesome!”

James spent some time exploring. He found a piece of paper and stuck it onto the fridge which had been completely cleared of their drawings, school reminders and so on. We read what he’d written. It said:

New house, tick, new car, tick, new TV, tick.

The old TV had died last year, and Karen’s car had been squished while standing outside our previous house. With a little money juggling we’d been able to replace both, so the house was the last item on our long-forgotten wish list.

Only James never forgot the wish list. He’s at his happiest writing out absurd requests for stuff from Santa or suggestions for birthday presents. Lists are a big deal for him. So when he sees our list being ticked off, maybe it gives him the hope that his ludicrous desires for the world’s rarest Pokémon card could, eventually, become a reality…

The items we’d listed were physical things, but what we really wanted were the associated benefits. Happy experiences rather than gratification; that’s what the wish list was all about. They’re happy with our new (rented) house, new (used) car and TV.

Now to write a new wish list: with all of the expenses, any food which isn’t noodles is somewhere near the top of that list.

What would make the biggest difference to your life as a family? Why not share your wish list with us to  and you could win a R250 voucher.

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