I read this several years ago and I am sure the cost has risen greatly. We had five sons born during the '50s and '60s, and I cannot even think of what it would cost just to feed them today. But as I reread this wonderful devotion on what we receive as parents, I am again impressed that life is enriched beyond measure with our children. One of the saddest observations in an obituary is no children! pen
The government has calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 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 a year, $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 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 everyday.
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 sand castles, 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 fingerprint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus.
You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney Land, 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 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 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 an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.
You have all the power to heal a booboo, 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.
Enjoy your children.