By DEANNA DJURIC
I think the hardest part about Day 1 of the Live Below the Line challenge was being sick. Having three kids to chase after and not being able to access the glorious, golden lemons in the pantry for a hot lemon honey with a Panadol really brought home the reality of living below the poverty line.
We really take so much for granted and don’t appreciate the little things.
As I was feeling unwell, I made the potato soup from one of the meal plans provided on the campaign’s website. I was craving the broth and it did help at lunch. So, I decided to make it again for dinner with my other potato, however, this meant that I had used up my quota of potatoes for the week.
At dinner, my husband and I began to explain to the kids why mummy was eating something else for dinner and not the same as everyone else. We tried to explain the concept to our kids (almost 6, 4 and almost 2) of sacrificing tasty food to raise awareness and funds for the 1.2 billion people experiencing extreme poverty.
During the course of the conversation, we saw the light come on for our almost 6 year old. My husband was explaining how as I had already eaten my two potatoes today, I would not be able to have any more potatoes this week. He looked shocked and immediately responded, “Well, go buy another one then.” But that’s the point. 1.2 billion people just can’t go down the shop and buy another one whenever they want.
When the realisation took hold of my son, his eyes welled up with tears, but he didn’t cry. He wept. I had to hold him as he wept for about 30 minutes. He asked if I could eat grapes this week and I replied, ‘no’. He wept. I had to reassure him that I was going to be alright, because I had decided to sacrifice these things for 5 days only, to raise money and to grow my love for others more.
I was deeply touched by his concern for me. I kept trying to redirect it to the 1.2 billion I am doing this challenge for. It was evident that he ‘got it’.
I was so sorry that I had burst his childish bubble and broken his heart by this cold, hard reality. Nevertheless, I used it as an opportunity to pass the baton.