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The price of your child

Young child reading a book

Recently, a government agency calculated that the cost, to middle income parents, to raise a child from birth to age 18 was $160, 140 (and that doesn’t begin to include post-secondary tuition). Here’s an amusing and thought-provoking look (from an anonymous author) at what you get for that money.

What you get:

  • naming rights; first, middle and last
  • more love than your heart can hold
  • butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs
  • endless wonder about rocks, ants, clouds and warm cookies
  • a hand to hold that’s often covered with jam or chocolate
  • someone to blow bubbles and fly kites with
  • someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your investments performed that day

What you get to do:

  • finger-paint
  • play hide and seek
  • butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs
  • catch lightning bugs
  • never stop believing in Santa Claus
  • never grow up

You have an excuse to:

  • keep reading Winnie the Pooh
  • watch Saturday morning cartoons and kids movies
  • wish upon a star
  • frame rainbows, hearts and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray-painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, clay hand-prints for Mother’s Day and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day

You have the opportunity to be a hero for:

  • retrieving a toy from the roof of the house
  • taking the training wheels off a bicycle
  • removing a splinter
  • filling a wading pool
  • coaxing a wad of gum from a set of bangs
  • coaching a team that never wins but always celebrates with ice cream regardless

You get a front row seat to witness:

  • a first step
  • a first word
  • a first bra
  • a first date
  • a first time behind the wheel

You have the chance to become immortal, add another branch to your family tree and possibly, add a long list of limbs to your obituary in the form of grandchildren and great grandchildren.

You receive an education in psychology, medicine, criminal justice, communications and human sexuality that isn’t offered at any college or university.

In eyes of your child, you have the power to heal bumps and bruises, scare monsters from under the bed, mend a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground him or her forever and love them without limits. Then, maybe one day, they, like you, with love a child without counting the cost.

Maybe that $160, 140 is a bargain after all.

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