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Sunday, April 15, 2007

What Can You Get for $160, 140?

Through the challege of parenthood, a reminder to check our perspective is always good. Please enjoy this wonderful reflection that someone sent me.

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $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, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.44 a day! Just over a dollar an hour. Still, you might think the best financial advice says don't have children if you want to be "rich." It is just the opposite.

What do your 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 jam. * A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sandcastles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain. * 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, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on stars. You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling the 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 history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel. You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren. You get education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God. You have all 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 one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.


In Him ... Kelly


Blogger Denise said...

Wow, thanks for sharing.

April 16, 2007 at 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Lynn Donovan said...


I really enjoyed this. Also, I am blown away to think that is exactly how God feels about us. He gets to finger pain, and heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters. Be our Hero! Neat!

April 16, 2007 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

This is a sweet post =)

April 16, 2007 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger janiswrites said...

It is amazing how much children can add to our lives. It is also awesome how much God teaches us through our children about our relationship with Him. Thanks for this beautiful post!

April 16, 2007 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Thank you for such an excellent reminder of the real "gifts" we receive as parents!

April 16, 2007 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

In other word...children are priceless. Amen to that. Although we had our struggles (and sometimes today we struggel too), no way would I want to have missed raising a child.

Thank you for sharing, Kelly.

Blessings to you and yours.

April 16, 2007 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Cyndi said...

Oh, how I loved this! What a great way to look at it. And to think, we could've missed this "front row seat to history." It is priceless, indeed. This really warmed my heart today, Kelly. :)

April 17, 2007 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Susie said...

I love it. What a great post!

April 17, 2007 at 10:17 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Sweet post, Kelly. We'd be dead broke, though, if it really cost that much! :^)

April 26, 2007 at 10:08 PM  
Anonymous Sarah Lee said...

I have a big, smile on my face and feel warm in my heart having read your post. I very much share your thoughts and count my blessings many times a day for having children in my life to wonder at all that surrounds us. Thank you, Sarah

May 5, 2007 at 3:46 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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