Magic comes with a price is a common saying on one of my favorite TV shows, Once Upon a Time. As a parent, I believe I've seen magic at least and at best, prove of God's existence, four times in my life. All my children were born by C-section which means beautiful babies by any one's standards. No misshapen heads or abrasions from the trauma of birth. New parents worry about those fragile little bodies but the real worries come along when they get older. Once they walk out of that umbrella of 24/7 protection the parents learn the real measure of worry.
My Old Farmer's Almanac shared this stat for today as if they read my mind. Typically, A baby caused its parents to lose between 400 and 750 hours of sleep the first year. That's taking a year or so off those parents' lives. Last week the latest estimate of the cost of raising a child were released. According to this article in USA today, it cost $245, 340 dollars to raise a child to age 18. If you're like us and also help them through college, you're looking at some big bucks. But not a parent in the world would trade their little bundles of magic for that money.
As my children grow and go off on their own, I don't feel any loneliness in an 'empty nest' way. I worry that they're so far from my protection. They're smart, responsible people but that doesn't help me sleep at night. My youngest son is across the country in Colorado. The son with a heart condition. Early tomorrow morning my daughter leaves for a semester of study in Morocco. As she sat at the kitchen table with me practicing her Arabic, I felt my hair turning gray. Yes, it's a safe country, relatively. But it's way over there.
I remember giving my parents a needlepoint picture I made when I left home and moved hours away from them. It said the two most important things we can give our children are roots and wings. Tomorrow another one flies away.
Are you shocked at the price to raise a child today? Do you think the numbers of hours parents lose in that first year is accurate? Can you tell me something good about Morocco?