This article notes that the average expense for raising an American child from birth to 18 is thought to be $204,060. Let's see, I have three - that would mean my bling comes to $612,180. I can assure you, we don't have that kind of money. We knew going into the third pregnancy that we really couldn't afford to have a third child. Some would fault us as irresponsible for going ahead and bringing my YS into the world with the full knowledge that we couldn't afford him. But, we were willing to do what it takes to make it affordable. We moved to family property to diminish our outgoing expenses for housing. We curtailed some of our spending habits (like eating out more frequently). If it ever became necessary, both my husband and I have graduate degrees, so I'm sure we could find a way to increase our income.
My children might be considered an investment worth over $600,000, but I view them as a precious gift from God. My father, with his five children, was forever quoting the passage in Psalms 127:3-5, which reads, "Children are a gift from God; they are his reward. Children born to a young man are like sharp arrows to defend him. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them." My children are the only "bling" I will ever be able to show off.
Another blogger, Lisa, who has her quiver full and also counts her children as more blessing than bling, wrote a wonderful post about this subject as well. She profiles each of her 8 luxury children next to photos of what they could have purchased instead. Then, she profiles her two "standard issues" as well. It was a truly lovely post. She also comments on what a sad plight it must be for children who are actually conceived in an effort to show status (and the plight of children who might be well provided for financially, yet famished throughout their lives emotionally and spiritually). However, I loved her take on this problem. She wrote, "God loves His babies, no matter who their parents are, and He's pouring down the graces, if only people will pick them up and use them."
So, here are some recent photos of my bling/blessings.
Don't let that hole in the pant-leg fool you - it's all bling, even the money-saving-mom-provided-trim (aka, butch job) on YS. ES won't let me near his hair - go figure?
ES - musician and monkey. MS - wishing his Superman outfit (minus the cape - on the ground, no doubt) allowed him to scale trees of this size.
And, even though this bling isn't mine - I have to share a photo (sorry it is old - couldn't find a newer one of Amelia by herself) and a word of congratulations, since my niece Amelia is now DONE-WITH-TREATMENT, CANCER-FREE, AND PORT-FREE! Truly PRICELESS!