Friday, October 13, 2006

Lessons Learned

My daughter and I were having breakfast this morning as we listened to a local radio station. The DJ’s posed a question to us listeners: “If someone offered you 3 million dollars for your baby and you were below poverty level, would you accept it and give up your baby?”

Then Jen asked me if I would take the offer.

“Absolutely not!”, I answered in split-second timing.

“But Mom, we were so poor, wouldn’t it have been nice to know that your children would grow up being spoiled?”, she replied.

The conversation got me thinking....I remember times when I was a single parent of young children and the struggles we had, the many nights of eating spaghetti with ketchup, the times we could only watch one show on TV in order to afford electricity, the near freezing nights without fuel to warm us so we kept the oven on.

And honestly, it was the best time in our children have told me so.

The reason is because when I did have enough money for something like a bag of bing cherries from the supermarket, the children were over joyed and cherished each cherry.

I remember renting a damp, musty 2 bedroom basement apartment when the children were young. I slept on the livingroom floor, the boys had one room and Jen had the other. There was a family renting the upstairs and the little girl, Jen’s age, got a portable stereo for Christmas. The next day this little girl took it out back and started to smash it with a hammer. My daughter was horrified and came downstairs crying. She told me that she wished that she would have something that nice and if she did, she would cherish it, not smash it with a hammer.

I told my mother this story and she bought Jen a boom box. Jen was so excited. She wouldn’t even let the thing down without putting a soft towel under it lest it get scratched. Jen had this gift for 20 years and always took good care of it.

There was a time when Dave, Jen’s twin, at age 10 would sweep a deli’s floor and in exchange would receive a few dollars. Dave would buy milk for us with that money. Time were tough, but my children learned valuable lessons during those hard times, lessons that gave them self-confidence and the apprechiation for all things big and small. Lessons that you couldn’t purchase for a all the money in the world.

To be honest, yes I thought about putting them in temporary foster care a few times when I would be overwhelmed with the lack of child support and income to support them especially while I put myself through college to become a paralegal, but God always provided and always was faithful.

Jen might have dreams of being filthy rich one day, but as for me, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about those hard years. The lessons my children and I learned are golden.


Kristen said...

Those are great, valuable lessons learned. It sounds like you were a great mom who took care of your kids no matter what and they learned to appreciate things in life!!

And I wouldn't sell my kids for all the $$ in the world!!

Looney Mom said...

I wouldn't sell my kids for TRILLIONS of dollars -and I have 6 - I could be filthy rich!! No, but seriously, I think that the more kids have today the more they take it all for granted and don't learn to appreciate ANYTHING! And this made me VERY sad. Can you believe that some actually WOULD do that? It's just disgusting!

Lala's world said...

I wouldn't sell my kids either! and I think your prespective is just awesome!!

Morning Glory said...

This is just wonderful and really touched my heart!