Things Money Can’t Buy

CAM00340I have often wondered what it is like for children who are growing up with the finer things in life. I’m not talking about the extremely rich – those children are in a completely different world. I’m talking about the children whose parents are making a comfortable living and can afford to drive the luxury vehicles and send them to private schools and live in the nice big houses.

Well, maybe not afford it, but can certainly obtain the loans to make it look like they can.

In case you haven’t guessed it yet I did not grow up like that. But, for some odd reason, I never really felt like I was a lesser person because of it. It was only after I grew up and began working that I wondered about what it would have been like. Would I have been further along in life? Will those kids wonder what it’s like to be poor when they grow up? Did I really miss anything?

Most of the time I don’t even give it a second thought. My life hasn’t taken a traditional path up to this point and I doubt it will going forward. Money has never really been a motivation for me.

I guess I’m more interested in how money affects children’s thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. If they are even aware of the difference or if they care. Is it only those who don’t have money that stress about it?

It’s been awhile since this has even crossed my mind. I haven’t seen any kids sitting in the passenger seats of BMW or Lexus or Mercedes while on my way to work lately. I’m also happy to say that I’ve reached the point where I don’t really care anymore what other people do or have or what it all means.

‘So why are you wondering about it now?’ you may ask.

R.J. and I were hiking through the park again and we stumbled across a photo shoot of a toddler. There’s an abandoned castle in the park that was built by some rich guy in the ’30s. It’s a popular place for photographers in the area.

We were making one of our usual loops through the park and came up behind the castle and found a model of the Cinderella pumpkin carriage blocking one of the paths. It was child-sized and covered with flowers and the little girl in me screamed with delight and clapped her hands.

We heard the voices then and as we kept walking on the path behind the castle we saw the photographer doing everything she could to make the subject smile. It was a little girl, maybe 3, sitting in a throne-like chair with a carousel horse on a stand next to her. She was in a fairy-tale dress and laughing and clapping much like my inner child.

I’m going to take a minute here to admit that I know nothing about these people or their circumstances. I am not writing this in judgment of their use of their resources. I did feel a twinge of jealousy. And anger. My inner child is an angry, little bitch sometimes, especially when she’s confronted with things she never had or got to do.

So we walked on, discussing what a waste of money professional portraits are, all the while my inner child is pouting. I had to wonder what affect these pictures will have on the little girl as she grows up. There’s no way she will remember the actual event so what will she think when she sees the pictures?

In the end it doesn’t really matter? Not to me anyway. I will probably never see those people again and even if I did I wouldn’t recognize them. How they live their lives doesn’t impact mine in any way.

As for my inner child, well she’s learning to be happy too because I do my damnedest to keep her that way. It usually has nothing to do with the finer things in life. But, really, what are the finer things?

I would argue that the finer things are a beautiful sunrise, making a loved one laugh, creating something with my own two hands, seeing creatures in their natural environment.

You know things money can’t buy…


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