Friday, December 3, 2010

three times a lady

This post is coming you from The Moo himself, who, when I asked him if he would like to do some guest-writing on the blog said, "Well, yeah, but you never invite me." To which I replied, "Moo, you're always invited." His reply? "Well, obviously I'm always invited. I'm awesome. And I'm totally going to write a post about how awesome I am. How I'm the most awesome father in history. And how I'm kicking the asses of every other father on the planet."

So, here he is. Kicking composition ass. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading his previous posts, click
here and here to catch up on his awesomeness.

Ok, so I won't discuss how awesome I am, despite the fact that it would make for a wicked good post (note the Maine vernacular creeping into my vocabulary; pretty soon I'll be calling Natalie cunnin'). Rather, I want to write about something that matters a whole heck of a lot to me, and it's something that I'm glad Hilary agrees with me on: experiences versus stuff.

By dropping out of law school (after only three weeks! Told you I was awesome), I made a choice: I chose my family, my friends, and my freedom over wealth. I knew damn well what I was doing, too. I was lucky that Hilary wanted to marry me for my dashing good looks and my rapier wit; if it was money she was after, she was barking up the wrong shoe-selling/English-teaching tree. Of course, at the time, Natalie wasn't even a blink in my eye, but I knew someday I would have a family, and I also knew that I'd rather have every snow day off with my kids than be able to buy them each a snowmobile (or "sled" as they call them 'round these parts).

But, of course, I didn't want to be poor either. Hilary and I can't complain. She's well paid for a part-time employee, and as a teacher, I'll only make more money each year that goes by. Still, a budget will likely always be an issue in our family, and if I have to make the choice about what I can and can't afford for my daughter, I choose experiences.

I want vacations that she'll always remember (and likely cringe about in her teenage years). I want day trips to the beach, picnics, long drives, and any other crazy excuse to spend time together that Hilary and I can come up with. I also want her to always feel like she can try anything she wants. Soccer cleats? Go for it. Karate lessons? Kick some ass. Music classes? Tickle those ivories or slappa da bass. Art workshops? She can't be any worse than me. Pee-wee football? It wouldn't be my first choice, but if my rough-and-tumble little girl wants to be a bruiser, I've got her back.

In order to allow for all those wild and wonderful experiences (along with, you know, college funds and paying the bills), something's gotta give. I won't be able to give Natalie a brand new car. If she wants Abercrombie, she'd better find an outlet store on Black Friday. If she's a shoe lover like her mom, she'd better learn the joys of TJ Maxx. The point is, Natalie won't be the richest girl in school and won't have all the latest, greatest, most expensive fads. And, frankly, I'm fine with that. I don't want a spoiled kid, I really don't. I was a spoiled kid, and while I "turned out fine" despite my mountain of useless plastic action figures, I don't want to use that tired, worn-out excuse that parents pull out to justify their own mistakes when raising children.

I want my daughter to one day look back on her childhood and feel that she was able to do it all...she just won't be able to have it all. Such is the life of a kid whose dad chose Macy's and teaching over law and piles of money. Sorry Natalie, you're stuck with me. And that includes on snow days.


  1. Too bad more parents can't look at things with the exact same attitude! Time is an amazing gift....

  2. I couldn't agree with you more. You can't put a price on memories with family. They're more precious than anything.