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Love Your Children... Without Counting The Cost
Ernest Tan
4 February, 2004, The Straits Times


A recent estimate put the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 at US$160,140 (S$275,440) for an American middle-income family. That doesn't even include college tuition.

But US$160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into US$8,896.66 a year, US$741.38 a month, or US$171.08 a week.

Still, you might think the best financial advise would be not to have children if you want to be "rich". However, the truth is just the opposite.

What do you get for the US$160,140? The following is what I read somewhere:

Naming rights. 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.

For US$160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to finger-paint, play hide-and-seek, and never stop believing in Santa Claus. You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures Of Pooh and watching Saturday-morning cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on stars...

For US$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...

You get a front-row set to history to witness the first step, first word, 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 an 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 booboo, 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.



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