Monday, July 30, 2012

Money Doesn't Buy Happiness

I came to the realization this weekend that I’d be a millionaire if I didn’t have kids.

It all started when I got this idea to move my son’s toy box from the area he plays in at the side of our living room to his bedroom.  When we added on to our dinky house several years ago, we put in a closet by the front door and a closet in his bedroom, and so sandwiched between them is a window and the perfect spot for a toy box.  I have no idea why I've never actually moved his toy box there, but the opportunity presented itself this weekend, and so I slid that extremely heavy thing across the house and deposited right in that spot under the window, where it fit perfectly.

Then I wanted to take some of his old toys and especially the baby toys and put them in a box for when baby number 2 arrives in January.  BTW, names have been picked for baby number 2, but they will be disclosed at a later date.  Anyway, as I started rummaging through his toy box, I began organizing everything into little piles.  After a half hour, I had a pile of toys from one end of his room to the other, and as I started to calculate the cost of all those toys in my head, I think I nearly had a heart attack.  A Batman train set here, a Matchbox car track there along with a full shoe box of Matchbox cars.  Tons of stuffed Marvel characters.  Tons of little action figures.  I think when I reached over $1000, I stopped counting—and I still had three quarters of the room to go!

But we were out shopping for a gift for one of his daycare friends over the weekend, and in Toys R Us I spotted Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba.  I picked him up, showed him to my son, and I saw the biggest smile on his face that I’ve ever seen.  Yeah, the thing cost $25, but we've been looking for this thing everywhere, and I think his smile was really worth more than that.  On the way out though, I spent $2 and won him a Batman stuffed doll out of the crane machine.  Again, another huge smile, much to my chagrin at having already purchased the $25 one.  We’d actually debated on returning Muno, and I had this plan of stashing him in our spare room for a few days to see if Adam Bomb would even remember us buying him.  Of course as soon as we got home, he wanted Muno and Batman so that he could show his Grammy his new toys.  Yeah, what was I thinking?  He’s way too intelligent to out-smart now.  Heck, when we left the Toys R Us shopping plaza and I made a right on red, he started shouting, “Red means stop, Daddy!  You went on red!”  Maybe other three-year-olds are just as attentive, but I’m seriously awed by him each and every day.  But we ended up keeping the $25 Muno, and I swore that I wouldn't buy any more toys for him until the holidays!  Really!

I could have been driving around a new 2013 Dodge Ram, or we could have moved into a much larger house by now.  I could have bought my Harley Heritage Softail Classic that I've had my eyes on since selling my old crappy Suzuki several years ago.  I could have gone back to school to get my MBA, which I'll do eventually.  Or I could have just saved it all up.  So yes, I may have been a millionaire if I didn’t have kids.  But you know, I remember those days without my little Adam Bomb, and I honestly can say that the past 3.16 years have been the most fun of my entire life.  And with another little one on the way, well, I may spend oodles more spoiling him or her, and I’ll love every minute of it.  I may have to wait until the 2025 edition of the Heritage Softwail Classic comes out (if my loving wife will even LET me buy it then), but in the meantime I'll have more than enough fun things to do with my happy little family.

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