Archive for the ‘
Deep Thoughts ’ Category
Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
2 years, 11 months.
In 4th grade, I had the privilege and honor of doing the cartoon for my town’s junior edition of the newspaper.
The movie Dick Tracy was in theatres the summer before, so I crafted up a clever (?) comic strip called Nick Tracy.
As you can see, Nick Tracy steps in to save the day, as a bully-looking character named Alan mentions to a more studious-looking fellow that he is thinking about quitting school.
(I wonder how old I intended the characters to be, because I sort of get the impression they were in 4th grade at the time, just like me.)
But when it was all said and done, the takeaway actually had less to do with staying in school and more about the reason why kids should not quit school: so they can get a job. I was only 10, but I was concerned about my classmates getting jobs.
You will always know me as the Dave Ramsey-endorsing, Robert Kiyosaki-following (author of the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad), credit card-bashing dad I am. Granted, it took me plunging into financial hades (I’m trying to avoid the cliche “rock bottom”) to be the budget-obsessed, debt-free parent I’ve worked so hard and deliberately to become.
So while there was a learning curve involved as I transitioned into my 30s, ultimately, as I rediscovered this old comic strip of mine from 22 years ago, I now realize: I’ve always been seriously focused on money.
What I never cared about was buying trophies with money. I laugh at the idea of a person being congratulated about a new car purchase: They’re simply being congratulated on having to make car payments.
I’m not impressed by anyone’s material possessions they can afford (or can give the illusion of affording, thanks to credit cards and/or loans), but I am completely impressed by people who actually know how to manage their own money. Because I am so eager to learn from them.
The irony is, I’m impressed by the fancy things people don’t buy, but could afford. To hear of a CEO choosing to drive his old Toyota instead of a new BMW, that’s a man I’m going to respect.
With that being said, the main thing holding me back now from the thought of wanting to have another child is the financial aspect of it. Robert Kiyosaki has trained me to see the world in terms of assets and liabilities.
In his book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, he recognizes children as financial liabilities. If I am looking at our family as a business unit, as I feel I should, then I have to be willing to remove the sentimentality aspect of bringing another child into this world and instead attach a dollar sign to your potential younger sister or brother.
As I learned from my editor in an article she wrote a few months ago called Will Millennials Be Able To Afford Children?, I found out that not even counting the cost of college, it costs around $240,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18.
You’re worth it, by the way!
But that would it take for me to feel comfortable (and passionate) enough to justify in my mind the expense of having another child?
Based on our current income and our plans to move to a better neighborhood so that we can get you into a good school system, I’d say… it would take doubling our family’s income, plus somehow miraculously being able to spend more time together as a family. Then I might be a little bit more ambitious when it comes to growing the family.
I’m not daring God at all on this. That’s just what it would take, based on where I’m at with it right now.
Add a Comment
budget, budgeting, Dave Ramsey, debt, debt free, family budget, finance, financial planning, money, Robert Kiyosaki | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, The Dadabase
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
2 years, 11 months.
I wish I could think of a more clever title than that, but that’s the best way to summarize how I see it.
If only it was as easy as two people falling in love and having babies and it all automatically working out after that…
Like marriage, maintaining a positively functioning family is hard work. It’s an investment.
Our lives spent together as a family are enriched because we accept the challenges and mysteries of everyday life together. But being a family doesn’t magically fix things.
The way I see it, a strong family must be built and nurtured. I can’t expect to be completely fulfilled by you and Mommmy.
That would be putting way too much pressure and responsibility on both of you. In the same way, I can’t make your life perfect and complete simply because I’m part of your family.
Being part of a family means agreeing to go through the worst parts of life together with the same passion and acceptance as we do the best parts.
It’s a priviledge, a responsibility, and a blessing.
I don’t mean to seem so fatalistic or gloomy about it, but I do believe that love is long suffering. I believe that’s part of what a family’s love is all about. Yet, I believe that same love is also kind.
And that it doesn’t envy; that it doesn’t parade itself. It’s not puffed up; it doesn’t behave rudely. It doesn’t seek after a selfish agenda.
I believe love is not provoked and doesn’t think evil or rejoice in iniquity, but instead, in truth.
The way I see it, our family’s love must bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.
And I believe love never fails.
Yes, that’s easier to say than to live out on a daily and lifelong basis. I know.
Because love is not automatic or easy. It’s a choice.
Maybe it’s too naive to aim for perfect love in our family, but I do know that perfect love drives out fear.
I can’t expect things just to work out for us because we are a family. I have to be the kind of love I want to receive in our family.
To me, this is what real love is actually about. It’s a little too real sometimes.
Add a Comment
Sunday, October 6th, 2013
2 years, 10 months.
I keep having to remind myself of my age. It’s not something I really think about, but when I am about to say my age out loud, I naturally want to say that I am 28 or 29.
And it’s not because of the cliche where I miss being in my 20s and therefore jokingly pretend I’m still 29.
What it probably comes down to for me is that I was 28 when I found out Mommy and I were going to become parents and 29 when you were actually born.
So I guess somehow, psychologically, my age as an individual stopped mattering to me on November 16, 2010.
For all practical purproses, my age became irrelevant that day.
Instead, what I identify with more, is that I am the parent of a young child.
That, is my age. Or at least that’s what I place in that category instead.
This is something I found out officially just a few weeks ago. Mommy and I had been looking for a Sunday School class to join at our church.
We hadn’t been in a steady one since before you were born.
It was either too much trouble or too much of a sacrifice not to be near you for that extra hour or so of the week.
But now that you’re nearly 3, you make it clear that you like to go to church. You ask us to go to church. When we can’t go for whatever reason sometimes, you are disappointed.
It may just be because you get to eat snacks and play with their trucks in the playroom. Oh, and getting to ride on the giant buggy that seats like 8 kids…
The third try was a charm for us, in regards to finding the “right” class. What we realized was that the people in the class are mostly were parents of young children like us.
Mommy and I are both 32 years old. Other parents in the class were 5 years younger or 5 years older, but that didn’t mean anything.
What we didn’t realize is that we were looking for was a group of friends we could relate to in the facets of life that are most important to us- being parents of small children was was of those main things.
Having a young child defines me, not my age.
I already forgot how old I am just now; that’s how much it doesn’t matter to me anymore.
Add a Comment
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
2 years, 10 months.
Some things in life just can’t be explained. For example, why are there over a dozen cell phone keyboards in the parking lot of your school?
Since a couple of weeks ago when we started parking next to your teachers’ Mustangs, we discovered a strange array of cell phone keyboards as we got out of my car.
It’s so strange…
There are no other cell phone parts anywhere else around. Just the keyboards.
Are cell phone keyboards hot on the black market right now?
Did a cell phone keyboard bandit run across your school’s parking lot, carrying hundreds of them over his shoulder in a giant sack, that happened to have a slit in it, causing many of them to fall onto the ground?
That’s the best explanation I can come up with.
Needless to say, you’re pretty fascinated by the mystery (and possible government conspiracy?) of these cell phone keyboards.
Our new daily tradition is that every time we now get out of or into our car in the school parking lot, you like to get down and count them.
Today when I picked you up from school, your teacher Ms. Lauren updated me on the funny thing you said to her this time:
“Ms. Lauren, there’s cell phones in the parking lot. I counted them. There’s 10 of them!”
You’re right. You indeed count 10 of them each time.
It is because of the cell phone keyboards that I now officially know you can count to 10. Because you do it at least once a day now.
Even without meaning to, you found a way to test out what you learn at school.
I think it’s safe to say that cell phone keyboards may be the most peculiar thing you will ever use in the process of learning to count.
As for the mystery of how they got there, I guess we’ll just have to ask God when we get to Heaven one day.
Add a Comment
Monday, September 23rd, 2013
2 years, 10 months.
This morning as we pulled into the parking space at school, I turned around to you and said, “Daddy loves you.”
You curiously replied, “And Mommy? Mommy loves me?”
From there, you began naming off other family members as well.
It makes me wonder about something I have surely subconsciously thought of before:
Do you really understand what it means for someone to love you?
I think you’re now able to begin processing that thought, based on the actions and involvement of those closest to our family.
You recognize that people who give you gifts regularly are people who love you. That’s an easy one!
Another qualifer is a person who has taken care of you in their house. I’m not saying you can’t love a person from school, but that’s not the degree of love I’m referring to.
The kind I am talking about today is the kind where you love that person enough to tell them on a regular basis; enough to where if you didn’t tell them, it would be kind of weird.
Trying to simply qualify what it means when somebody loves you is, actually not that simple. I can understand why the 1984 song, “I Want To Know What Love Is,” by Foreigner was a #1 hit 29 years ago.
At first, the words to the song come across to me as slightly lame ’80′s lyrics, like they are part of a corny pick-up line. However, I think the words to the song are actually very relevant to human nature, outside of romance: “I want to know what love is- I want you to show me.”
I could probably make a Top Ten list of “What It Means When Somebody Loves You.”
But I don’t think that list would be very necessary. After all, you can already tell me which people in your life love you. You didn’t need an explanation or a list.
You just knew.
Add a Comment