We all know that is true. But we were given a couple of passes for us to go to a children’s expo in our city. It was supposed to have lots of fun things for kids to do.
We decided that we would go. We didn’t want to explain to the person that it would be difficult for us to afford the extra money to pay for the kids (the passes were only for the adults) so we decided for once that we would put it on credit (we never do this normally).
When we get there we find that we have to pay $5 cash for parking. This is not normally charged. Luckily we did have this on us.
But, we find at the ticket boot with it’s mile long line that they were only taking cash. This too was unusual. This precluded us from going in. We felt a bit disappointed plus we wasted $5 on parking for about 10 mins time.
We decided that we would take the kids to a park. We had a packed lunch already for the day at the Convention centre so we made the day into a picnic. Then we played in the playground and went for a walk. This also meant a lot of playing around together.
Even though we felt disappointed I don’t think the kids felt the slightest bit neglected. In fact they had a great time.
April and I talked on the way home and reflected on this. We are not poor, but we don’t have lots of spare cash. Like most families we need to watch how we spend our money. We tend to live simply. Ultimately it comes down to priorities. For us it is ensuring the kids can go to a good school and that we can spend time with them. This means that I make sacrifices in my career and that April doesn’t work.
When I think about the relationship that I have with my kids it is more than worth it.
Bryan West says
I cannot agree more, and am hopeful that more children will experience ‘free’ play as a normal thing. My experience as a high school teacher tells me that children value things in proportion to their monetary value, rather than seeing monetary value as independent of the experience that they may gain from those things, regardless of their cost. Invariably, this leads to an escalating spiral of greed and indulgence as they seek more and higher priced stuff to compensate for their inability to actually experience enjoyment, and as their parents seek to compensate for their own apparent inability to experience enjoyment with their children.