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August 2006


A Mom’s Response to “Real Love is Made in China” by Maureen Wyse [May 2006 Editorial]
Speaking for most moms everywhere, we want the best for our children and want to ensure their success by providing for them as best we can, so they don’t have to repeat some of our experiences. Fortunately or unfortunately, we’ve eliminated some rich experiences that could’ve influenced or molded their character. Similarly, we’ve probably gone overboard in making sure the more challenging experiences didn’t happen to them. This may move us more evidently into the consumer arena, validating the phrase “Real love is made in China.”

Speaking for this mom though, I’d like to speak to my growing-up challenges. Growing up without gifts for special occasions didn’t necessarily mean we didn’t have presents. They just weren’t store-bought. As a consequence, I’ve found that love is tied to my actions, more than any purchases. My joy comes not from China, but from doing for others and having them appreciate my efforts in making things, helping them learn, recognizing their special occasions and accomplishments, going out of my way to make sure they know they are special, recognizing them with something small, supporting their activities, etc.

As for food, there were times for me growing up, when having enough food was an issue. As a consequence, not only do I have food enough to satisfy the appetites my children, I also cater to their food choices. Further, I feel a need to be able to feed those extra friends who show up for a day, evening or week. So yes, I am guilty as charged.

Don’t feel horrible in what you get. Take joy in what you have. Keep influencing your mom’s choices. As for your collections of doodads, socks, puzzles, games, and pirate paraphernalia, take joy in them for the moment, but please share them with others. I’m sure there’s someone out there who is in desperate need of a tattooed, devil rubber ducky to keep them company.

Lois Wyse
Seattle, WA

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