Having kids...

The ultimate return on your investment!
I have seen, repeatedly, the breakdown of the cost of raising a
child, but this is the first time I've seen the rewards listed this
way. It's nice, really nice.

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child
from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income
family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college
tuition. For those with kids, that figure leads to wild fantasies
about all the money you could have banked, if not for your children. For
others, that number might confirm the decision to remain childless.
But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down.

It translates into $8,896.66 a year, or $741.38 a month, or
$171.08 a week, or $24.44 a day, or Just over a dollar an hour!

Still you might think the best financial advice says don't have
children if you want to be "rich."
It is just the opposite. What do your get for your $160,140?

1. Naming rights. First, middle, and last.
2. Glimpses of God every day.
3. Giggles under the covers every night.
4. More love than your heart can hold.
5. Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
6. Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
7. A hand to hold usually covered with jam.
8. A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand
castles and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.
9. Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the
boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to
finger-paint pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, and catch lightning bugs. You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on stars. You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under
refrigerator magnets and collect hand made menorahs from Sunday
school, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with
backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to
be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking
the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling the
wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a
baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream

You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step,
first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your
family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your
obituary called grandchildren. You get education in psychology, nursing,
criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college
can match.

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

Isn't it worth EVERY PENNY (and then some....)?
I know mine are!

Sabiha Al-Halabi