By Michelle Iuelo
Kids grow up; they go from needing to be fed and coddled to playing outside without constant hovering supervision. They bathe themselves and have responsibilities around the house. Without a doubt they are getting big, so big that we forget that they are still very small. Two things can be a ‘smack in the face’ reminder that your kids are ‘littler’ than you envision while they work the computer like a techie from Geek Squad and slather together a peanut butter sandwich. Thing number one is talking to them on the phone. It is much easier to hear the little kid hiding under the grown up gestures and eye rolling when you can only hear their voice. Thing number two is a conversation about household finances.
It happened in our house this week, at the dinner table, always at the dinner table. We were having some random conversation about jobs or expenses or who knows what, it could have been the NHL, our family does six degrees of separation at lightning speed. However we got there, the question posed to our ten year old son was this: “How much do you think Mommy & Daddy spend on insurance for a year?” There was no hesitation in his answer…. “A hundred BUCKS.” (They always say ‘bucks’ like they have enough of them to use as a napkin for hiding their broccoli in)
I suppressed my laughter the best I could and said “Higher.”
He came back with “Two hundred?” This time I giggled, “Higher.”
He fired numbers at me, 500, 600, 700, 800…. Each time I answered “Higher” his eyes grew a little wider. When he hit 1000 and I said “Higher” I could see our fifteen year old daughter’s eye’s begin to widen (apparently she’s not as big as I envision either.) The numbers dance continued on back and forth for a little while before he hit the right amount, at which point he turned to my husband looking at us both in shock and amazement “How much money do you MAKE?!?!?”
My husband was very good with his reply “Not nearly what you all think we do.” I couldn’t suppress my laughter. The answer wasn’t succinct enough for the now very curious, very young minds at the table and the dance began again…. “One million dollars?” ….. “Lower”.
Dinner took 90 minutes.
I highly recommend the conversation if you have the time and are looking for a good chuckle. You end up with a healthy reminder that yes they are growing up too fast but not nearly as fast as we think.