Yesterday I was emergency shoe shopping with Alea and Myles, and at the shoe store the young man at the checkout and I had this encounter:
Young man: “You look like the woman to ask. Can I ask you a question?”
Me: “I love questions. Shoot.”
Him: “How much money should you have saved up to have a baby?”
Me: “You asked the right person, but my answer will surprise you. See, I have NINE kids.” (Waits for the shock to wear off as I show him a picture.) Kids aren’t expensive in the way you think. You don’t need all that crap from Toys R Us. Babies need a set of boobs, diapers, car seat, a few outfits, and loving arms. Other things like a swing, baby carrier (I was wearing Myles of course) pack n play- not a crib, and bouncer are nice. But all those fancy toys just take your money and space. Buy used whenever possible. ”
Him: “It just always seems that babies are expensive.”
Me: “Babies aren’t expensive. Lifestyles are.” (Mic drop moment.)
Me: “We walk around with $700 phones in our pocket and $100 shoes wearing $50 jeans. That is expensive.” I continue “How many couches did your grandparents own? What kind of TV did they have when they were in their 40s? What about the car your grandparents drove when your mom was born?”
He shakes his head, not knowing, but the girl next to him sees where I’m headed and starts smiling.
Me: “We don’t pay attention to the material stuff of our grandparents because of none of that matters. What matters is that they had your mom who had you and THAT is a legacy. Not stuff. People. So babies aren’t expensive. They cost money, but we spend that money anyway. Babies should force us to allocate it into a purposeful spending instead of superficial. Invest in PEOPLE, not things. My nine kids mean I may never go to Europe or have a fancy car. But it also means my life is dedicated to something higher than such fleeting materialism.”
He stood there with his mouth wide open and said “I’m very glad I got to talk to you. I’ve never thought of it that way.”
He smiled back.
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