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Friday, April 11, 2014

Parenting Is Worth Every Penny

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Over a decade ago I noted in one of my Centerpiece radio spots that the USDA had come up with a figure of over $160,000 as the total cost of raising a child from birth to 18. This was for a middle income family, and didn't even touch college tuition. A more recent CNN estimate is $241,080.

In that radio piece I quoted writer Regina Brett, the host of "The Regina Brett Show" aired on station WKSU in Cleveland, who noted that $160,000 translated to just over $24 a day, or about a dollar an hour. She came up with the following list of great returns we get for our investment:
Naming rights. Frst, middle, and last.

Glimpses of God every day.

Giggles under the covers every night.

More love than your heart can hold.

Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.

Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.

A hand to hold, usually covered with jam.

A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand castles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.

 Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a soccer team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

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.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God.

In light of all that, parenting, while certainly not without its headaches, can be seen as worth every penny.
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