Allowances. I cannot remember for the life of me if we got an allowance. Somehow what I remember most is that my dad sometimes paid us in candy bars. Not your normal candy bar, the kind you sell for school fundraisers. He would buy a case (or maybe we had some left over). I distinctly remember the ones that had caramel in the inside. If we ever did get paid (even with candy bars) it was for chores we did around the house. Did doing chores and my parents never following through with an allowance teach me good ideals about working, money management, or spending money? Not really.
I started working when I was nine years old. I babysat, cleaned a neighbor’s house, polished their silver, and had a paper route. Yes, crazy to think I did that at the age of nine. I guess I worked just as hard then as I do now. My parents would have me put my earnings in a savings account, so I guess you could assume that they taught me about saving. The problem? My dad usually “borrowed” from my savings account never paying me back. I did not have the best money role models. Kids should be taught about money early on, and not be graced with everything with no knowledge or conversation that money does not grow on trees. Which is why I especially love this article from Slate.com titled: “You’re Doing Allowance Wrong.”
“Spending is about modesty, thrift, and the prudence to shell out (and even splurge) for things that bring kids the most joy while avoiding mindless outlays for plastic junk they will quickly break or forget. Saving instills patience in a world that increasingly conspires against waiting, delivering television without commercials and movies without Blockbuster. And giving is about generosity as well as gratitude for how lucky you are to be able to help others.”
The article goes into depth about giving an allowance, a budget, and a list of things they want or need and let them make the decisions on what to purchase. It means letting them fail. As the article states: “Better now then at age 24…” It teaches critical thinking skills, how to rationalize why one purchase makes more sense than another one. Many adults today do not have these skills. What if we started early on learning these life skills? We have gone away from being a saving culture, instead we spend, and rarely give. If you have kids what are your thoughts on this article + topic?
Sometimes we feel things deeply. We feel emotions to our core.
I just spent a few days with my niece. I am smitten. The girl is a hoot. She is the happiest baby. Let me tell you I am probably slightly biased, but I have been taking care of kids since I was nine years old. First I babysat. Over time I did summer nannying. Eventually I worked with infants in a day care for my four years in college. And I babysat all the years in between. Oh, and how could I forget that I fell in love along the way. There were many kids. Emma, and Alden, and Chazzy, and Matts. Evan, and Ryan, and Bailey, and Addison. The list goes on, but nothing compares to the absolute love I have for my own sister’s child.
It is like an anchor that goes down deep while on a boat in the middle of the ocean. It is heavy, and raw, and real. It is painful how much I love this little girl. I have big shoes to fill. With my parents gone I feel like her aunt, and her grandma, and hopefully someday her confidante. Chris and I just spent the last few days with her, and said goodbye to her last night. When we came back home and crawled onto the couch to rest and snuggle there was an empty, quiet space surrounding the couch. We both missed her so much.
She is just now ten months old and walking like crazy, babbling, and utterly cute. She walks on her own all over the place, but still loves to hold your hand (I think because then she has a buddy to go with her). She loved the Christmas tree (mostly the balls, but also the lights). She had the best time opening presents and then eating the paper. She finally loves zerberts (thank goodness, as I love to give them)! I tried to teach her how to blow a kiss so that when we Facetime she will start to blow kisses to me. She laughs and giggles, and like I said is the happiest of babies.
My favorite: when she wakes up from her nap and snuggles into your neck and her deep gut giggle. #beyondamazing
I lived in the same house until eighth or ninth grade. At that time my father had moved out, my parents were freshly divorced and our house was foreclosed on. I do not have many nostalgic memories of that home. It was falling apart at the seams. Sinking and rotting floors, very old carpeting, ancient appliances to name a few. I cannot imagine the family that purchased it and what they had to do to “flip” it. Regardless of all that it was the home that I knew.
It was the neighborhood where I learned to ride a bike, where I had a paper route, sold Girl Scout cookies, and candy + nuts for my school. It is where we would explore the creek, the woods, and sneak off to buy candy at the Village Pantry. I also grew up with a few families and babysat their children.
When we had to move out, my mom went into a nursing home, I lived with my grandma, and my sister with a family friend. From there I left for a boarding school in St. Louis for the last three years of high school, then off to four years of college in Illinois. After that I ventured to Boston for about 4 years before Chris and I made our home in Portland. So as you can see I did not move around a lot, and yet my home is so important to me.
Having a home that was falling apart, living in odd family situations, and then in a dorm for 7 years has made me crave and cherish my home. I want things to work and function, have a purpose, and be a place and comfort for Chris and me, as well as those that experience our home.
Often when we travel or are away for a weekend or longer I find I want my bed and to be home. I love to explore and have adventures, but somehow I still find I long to be at the home we have created together.
Created on an iPhone, please excuse any formatting or typos…