Wallace’s ponderings

A million-dollar giggle



The government has calculated the cost for a middle-income family to raise a child to age 18 is approximately $200,000, or about $30.45 per day. So, if we ever want to be rich, should we forget about having children?

The answer lies in our definition of the word “rich.” From a monetary standpoint, one in possession of an over-abundance of money or goods is said to be rich. Therefore, if material abundance is necessary for your happiness, by all means, don’t have children.

On the other hand, we who want so much more than an amount of money see a different aspect of wealth. We can gain the ultimate satisfaction of self-worth only by holding that tiny, wrinkled, squirming bundle of life soon after its birth.

You can get glimpses of God every day and giggles under the cover at night. You get hugs and kisses flavored with peanut butter and jelly administered with more love than your heart can hold. You observe endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and why we have to wait for cookies to bake.

You get to hold a tiny jelly-covered hand and accompany its owner on a safari through your backyard. There is someone to laugh yourself silly with even though the boss had hurled unkind and undeserved admonitory remarks at you earlier.

For your money, you never have to grow up. You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and keep believing in Santa Claus. You get to be a hero for retrieving a Frisbee from the roof, removing a splinter, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but gets treated to ice cream anyway.

You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, and communications that no college can match.

In the eyes of your child, you rank right up there with God. You have the power to heal a boo-boo, scare monsters from under the bed, patch a broken heart, chaperone a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits. Someday, like you, they will love without counting the cost.

What a deal.