Learning to dislike children at an early age saves a lot of expense and aggravation later in life. The Lily’s Cafe Old Timers have often discussed the cost of raising a child, but they have never seen the rewards listed. Over coffee this morning, Doug O’Brien recalled that the government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18. Doug stated the Census Bureau came up with a $160,500 price tag for a middle-income family. Sticker shock! That doesn’t even include a dollar towards college tuition. For those with children, that figure leads to unmanageable fantasies about all the cash they could have banked if not for (insert child’s name here). For others, that number might confirm the decision to remain childless.
The Curmudgeons at Lily’s Cafe believe in family and know what you get for your $160,500. As I recall, grandfather Ray Vogue led the conversation by recalling the he got naming rights (well at least the last name), glimpses of God every day and giggles under the covers every night plus more love than your heart can hold along with Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
Jim Glennon treasured the endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies. A face to kiss, usually covered with jam, and a partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand castles and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.
I personally enjoyed the ability to laugh myself silly with my young sons, no matter what the boss said or how poorly my stocks performed that day. For $321,000, I delayed growing up. I got to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play Kick-The-Can, catch baseballs and never stopped believing in Santa Claus. I found an excuse to keep reading Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on a star.
My wife got to organize shed lizard skins, dried leaves, and high school dance boutonnieres under refrigerator magnets and a collection of Little League and Soccer League picture buttons, as well as hand prints set in clay for Mother’s Day.
For $160,500 per child, there is no greater bang for your buck.
And that is all I have to say.