Last night our power went out again, 2nd night in a row and 4th time in the 2 months that we have lived here! it's gonna be a fun monsoon season! We gathered up the kids, because of course the power goes off before dinner has been made, and head out to get something to eat at a small mexican food restaurant nearby.
We don't go to restaurants very often with all 6 of us. it's just too expensive and then the little kids (and one of my bigger kids) okay, the boys, can't stay in their seats the whole time. So we tend to just do the easy thing, grab a pizza or whatnot.
Anyway, we got on the topic of how much this was going to cost somehow, my husband guessing around $38. My daughter, who is the oldest, turns to my son (2nd oldest) and says, you know we should help pay for our own food. She's 10 and he is 9. Does this sound normal to anyone? All I can say is this is one proud Mommy!
A short history of our family and why this is a remark that is not such a rarity in our family....
My husband and I have been married for going on 12 years, we had out first baby 1 year and 2 months after our wedding, and now there are 4. My husband has been in school for the majority of our married life with maybe a year in between a couple of breaks from school. The past 4 1/2 years he has been working on his BA in Mechanical Engineering and he recently graduated in December. He didn't have a full time job or even a part time job for many of those years and we lived off of the income we received from his working on cars from our garage. Money was tight and life wasn't always so easy. We saw lots of people going on vacations that we couldn't even come close to affording and my kids have never been to Disneyland (shocking!). I have to admit, I've often had that seed of jealousy in me for what others were able to do and we were not.
I have always made it a point to be open with my kids about just about everything. Of course I don't always go into complete detail like I would with an adult, but they have usually been aware of our situations. We have had a few instances when money has magically come our way and I have started planning a vacation to California only to have something happen (like Daddy cutting off his fingertip in a school project 2 weeks before he was supposed to start his summer internship and then having to put off internship for 2 more months because of complications with surgery and having it redone 4 times), where that money turned into not our "extra" but our sole income. I always talked with the kids and they understood what the situation was and my responses from them was always the same... "it's okay Mom, we can go another time." I don't know how many times I have just wanted to cry because of how amazing and understanding my kids have been in these instances when others would have thrown a fit or cried because they were so disappointed. I am so lucky! I know that we have been blessed to have our financial struggles too. My kids are involved in many activities, but those activities are things that they are either helping to pay for or are working to get in trade. They are learning the value of a dollar and the hard work that things take in order to get them. I'm thankful for that, despite how hard it has been, who knows if they would have learned those valuable lessons if we had never had those struggles?
Anyway, life is still tough at times and money still tight, so my kids offering to pay for their dinner out of their own money that they have earned by baby-sitting or doing other odd jobs, is a pretty awesome thing to me. It's hard teaching your kids, so those moments when it looks like some of your teaching has paid off is just simply incredible!
I love my family! I love how understanding and thoughtful my kids are especially during those times when it's hardest, when there is something that they want really bad. I love that I have them home with me (we homeschool) and that they are a part of my life all the time and can see the struggles that I face and we can talk about them. My kids are so the GREATEST!!!