birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Fairness? Luck?

Fairness is a capricious ruler of circumstance and situation. I've come to believe she is closely related to Lady Luck.

My experience with fairness and luck began close to home with my two children. Growing up as an only child, I never had the opportunity to understand the concept of fairness in the same way that my two children obviously did.

I tried to set rules that would help me manage some of the situations that they decried as unfair. On even days of the month one child had the privilege of riding shotgun, but the responsibility of unloading the dishwasher. On odd days the other child assumed the privilege and the responsibility.

The fairness or unfairness of the situation was, therefore, out of my hands. It was a matter of luck.
Now that my children are adults, my definition of fairness has shifted. I now understand fairness to mean that everyone gets what he or she needs. And if this is so, if this is what I believe, then I am no long able to make sure things are fair because one child has had more need for support than the other.

So is it unfair that I am in the circumstance of having to decide which child gets more support? No, I feel lucky that my parents were able to help me and lucky that I am able to help my children.

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