First World Problems

Like many of you I have been following the news about the soccer team, trapped in the underground cave in Thailand. Watching, hoping, praying, until finally after nine days receiving the fantastic news that they have been discovered alive.

Yesterday after school I talked about it with my boys.  They even humoured me long enough to look up from their respective You Tube videos to watch the footage of the rescuers discovering the boys.  They were surprised to learn that it could now take months to get them out of the cave, the extended time frame partly due to the fact the boys cannot swim.

Never one to miss a teaching moment, I told my boys I was going to remind them of these children the next time they complained about having to go to swimming lessons. 

“This is why you need to know how to swim.  What if you are ever trapped in a flooded cave”

We discussed it again as a family, at dinner.  I was proud of the empathy my kids displayed, agreeing that the boys on that soccer team must be very scared, that in a situation like that it is important never to give up hope.  That you must stick together and support each other.

I went to bed feeling happy that I am raising two empathetic, caring boys who won’t take their privileged first world lives for granted.

That smug feeling lasted until exactly 7.05am this morning, when urgent screams of “MUM” emanated from the bathroom.  The screams shook me out of my blissful reverie while making the school lunches (isn’t everyone in a state of blissful reverie while making the lunches? #everyfuckingday) and I ran to the bathroom.  I expected to find a creature from the deep had burst out of the showerhead and was violently strangling my son, such was the urgency conveyed by his screams.

What I discovered was the disgusted face of my dripping wet 12 year old, who indignantly stated: “There is no hot water”. 

I tried the taps and he was right.  However, given my husband’s occupation I was fairly nonplussed, knowing he would diagnose and most likely fix the issue by the end of the day.

Not so the 12 year old.  It was immediately obvious to him that this was all my fault! I had used all of the hot water last night!  My shower was too long!  I had the audacity to wash my hair!  I knew that I was robbing him of his hot water……

My response?

“There are 12 kids stuck underground in a cave who haven’t had a shower in 9 days!”

When my darling resilient, empathetic, glass half full young man emerged from the bathroom, he announced: “I’m cold.  And hungry.”

My response?

“There are 12 kids trapped in that cave who haven’t eaten for nine days!”

(I kid you not, I even said it with a straight face).

Never one to let an issue rest, on the drive to school I talked with the boys about how the parents of the trapped children have been holding a vigil at the cave entrance, praying for a sign their children are alive.  That the children hadn’t been able to speak to their parents, or let them know they were ok. 

“Imagine being one of those children.  Their parents haven’t been able to speak to them for over a week.  Wouldn’t that be terrible?”

The ten year old nodded in enthusiastic agreement from the back seat, while Mr ‘no hot water’ sat silently next to me, obviously ruminating over our conversation. 

At drop off I hugged my boys and wished them a wonderful day.  At this point the 12 year old casually looked over his shoulder and asked:

“How much does it cost to get to Thailand?”

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