Monday, August 21, 2006

if i won the lottery

the other day i was sitting in a restaurant waiting (and waiting and waiting i might add) for my club sandwich to go and a kind old lady struck up a conversation with me (she was waiting on her club sandwich too). as we talked she asked about what i did for a living and how the pay in a private school compared to the pay in a public school, etc. somehow during the conversation i mentioned that i was going to pick up my daughter and we got to talking about her. anyway, she told me that her grandkids lived in New York and that they attend a private school in Manhattan. she went on to say that one of her kids pays $19,000 a year for their son to go to a private kindergarten. nineteen THOUSAND dollars per year. WHAT pray tell does a 5 year old need with a $19,000/year education?! i just can't understand. someone shed some light.

now, i'm all for children getting a good education. and i'm certainly not against private schools either (for pete's sake i teach in one), but i just don't quite understand the need to pay that much for a five year old to go to school. i also realize that i'm from a silly little southern town when compared with Manhattan so i know that private schools there are surely more expensive. but gosh people! $19,000 is A LOT of money. that's more than my husband and i combined paid for our 9.5 years of college education. i wonder how much that kid's halloween costume will cost this year?

this all brings me to another point. i got a brochure in the mail last week for a (chain) children's music program. my first reaction was, "are you kidding? they're already sending us advertisements for music classes and little j is not even five months old?!" i read the information and it turns out that they do offer classes for "lap babies". i also remembered back to when my sister forwarded me an email not too long ago for a baby yoga class. the more and more i thought about it the more the little voices inside my head started going, "oh my goodness! what if she's way behind all the other babies?! what if everyone else has their kid signed up for a class like these!? or worse yet, what if they're signed up for more than one?! OR WHAT IF they've completed classes and are already moving on! i've gotta enroll right now!" (please don't read me wrong. i think music is important too and i know that it's helpful to start young. that's just not my point.)

once i took a deep breath and realized what i had been thinking for all of two minutes i chuckled out loud. it's a trap i tell ya! all of these people just making loads of dough on the naivety of new parents and the immense amount of love they feel for their children. they feel guilt that they haven't helped them succeed at everything. moms especially get stressed out that they've missed the boat or that they're failing their child by letting them fall behind, but it's all in vain. in my heart i know that the best i can do for my daughter is love her, support her, cherish her, provide necessities for her, and not neglect her but i do still get caught up in the hipe.

i've always said that i want to do the best i can for my family. i never want to be one who tries to "keep up with the Joneses" always wanting bigger and better. i've also always said that if i became rich i would of course give a lot of money to the church and other charities, but the money i would spend on myself would not be on a new house, car, or clothes. it would be on trips with my family.

(and just maybe a lot of chocolate)

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