Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Cost of Children

I don't have children (yet), but I saw this today and it made me smile. I had to share it. The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 to be $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition. But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into: $8,896.66 a year, or $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.24 a day! Just over a dollar an hour. Still, you might think the best financial advice is "if you want to be 'rich', don't have children. Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you get for your $160,140? Naming rights – First, middle, and last! Glimpses of God every day. Giggles under the covers every night. More love than your heart can hold. Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs. Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies. A hand to hold - usually covered with jelly or chocolate. A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said, or how your stocks performed that day. For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to: finger-paint,carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, and catch lightning bugs. You have an excuse to: keep reading "The Adventures of Piglet and Pooh", watch Saturday morning cartoons, go to Disney movies, and wish upon a star. You also get to: frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets, and collect: spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay or Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day. For $160,140, there is no bigger bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for: retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off a bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless. You get a front row seat to witness history: her first step, his first word, and their first time behind the wheel. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs called grandchildren and great grandchildren in your obituary. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, and communications. In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have the power to: heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits... So that one day they, like you, they will love without counting the cost.


Melanie Martin said...

You made me cry!

Amanda said...

So true! And, this comes after only being a mom for 9 months! I love it!