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October 12, 2005



It's called being content with what you have.

We live in an older house that needs some repair. Most of our furniture are someone else's castoffs (nice castoffs, but castoffs none the less). Tony's clothes are a mix of someone elses donations and the sale rack at Target. We don't have cable, Nintendo or X-box. Tony's shoes come from the local Payless Shoe Source, and I'm not paying thousands of dollars in tuition and gas to get him to some prep school. But we are content. And Happy. That's what matters.


YOu have taken the words right out of my mouth and my life this week. It is like looking at my life with my teen right now. I must say, I am so thrilled I am not alone. He is failing just about every subject and refuses to go to school....can I scream for help?!??


That's why I come back here... I flip through my bookmarks and I think "Ah. She always has something thoughtful to say."

Melanie Lynne Hauser

Years ago I had a column in a local parenting magazine and this was exactly the same subject of one of my articles. Yes, I'm the proud mother of average children. They won't win scholarships, athletic or academic. They're not driven to overachieve and I'm certainly not driving them there myself. (Not with the price of gas these days!) But they're happy and we're happy and everybody's safe and healthy and not stressing out. I applaud you for being one of us!


I think I could have written the same post, except my girls aren't yet old enough for me to see how much their personalities may differ from mine and my husband's.

I do know that the "Alpha Mom" business is a large part of the reason I was so willing to leave New York. Just the anticipation of the suburban rat race was enough to exhaust me.


Excellent post! It's important, not only that we give our children the best that we can, but that the "best" doesn't have to be defined by what we had or didn't have as children ourselves.

My sister and I grew up broke, but raised with such love and compassion, that the fact that we didn't have what Joe & Mary Down-the-Street had wasn't a big deal. My mother raised us singlehandedly on a ridiculous salary with no support from my father. We learned that life's not always easy, but we learned that things worked for are better than things handed to you.

I thought that I wanted my children to have more than what I had - money, "stuff", activities galore, time with friends whenever they wanted. Well, they're growing up in a similar situation, only I have a wonderful husband helping out. I am glad that my children are learning that they don't have to have "all that" to be "all that." Make sense?


I sometimes worry that we don't make our son do more extracurricular activities. I know families who aren't home more than one or two evenings a week because they've got activities scheduled.

But then I remember that he's seven and just a kid. I want him to enjoy lying around, playing, reading. I want him to have the time to chase his two-year-old sister around the house with no intention other than to make her giggle.

I figure there's time enough to feel the pressure of life. Now, I know that he's not going to be the best at some things simply because we didn't insist he start them now. But maybe he'll have a good sense of self and of priorities. And maybe he'll be good at play, something I think more of us grown-ups should learn.


I usually like your columns and many hit home but this, this was something else! I think it's wonderful that your son has the self confidence that he is obviously exhibiting and BRAVO to you for recognizing what's important! I hope I am accomplishing the same with my son (he's six).

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