Weekly Family Chronicles
by Francis J. Kong
Return on Investment
March 21st, 2012
Winnie Arceo is a friend of mine. One day she sent me this beautiful e-mail, which I want to share with you. The title is: “What Do You Get?”
I have seen repeatedly the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It’s nice, really nice. In America, the government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle-income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn’t even touch college tuition.
For those with kids, that figure leads to wild fantasies about all the money we could have banked if not for their kids. For others, that number might confirm the decision to remain childless. But $160,140 isn’t so bad if you break it down. (Caution to the reader: Please don’t try converting dollars to peso value. Simply stick to the universal application of this to any family with kids, including yours, and all of us will do just fine.)
It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That’s a mere $24.44 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.” Well, it’s just the opposite.
What do you 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 sandcastles, 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 finger-paint, 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 movies, 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, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling the 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 you family tree, and if you’re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren.
You get education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, ad human sexuality that no college can match.
In the eyes of child, you rank right up there with God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, 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.
Children are God’s gift to us. More than enough reason to be thankful for.
So, if you are in business and you deal with a lot of figures, you will have to agree with me that having children is one of the greatest deals you will ever have in your life.
The ROl is simply great. And I’m not talking about money here.
Source: The Early Bird Gets the Worm But the Second Mouse Gets the Cheese