Last night I called a family meeting and talked with the kids. I explained to them the change in income. I showed them four pennies and told them to pretend that was all the money I used to get every month and now I only get this much, and I took away two of the pennies. They looked a bit shocked so I told them we were going to be fine but that I am going to need their help to be very cautious with money. We cannot be wasteful and have to be very careful with what we have.
Then I talked about this weekend. I told them there wasn’t enough money for any park but that I asked around and a friend of mine gave me free tickets for one of the parks. So I scrounged together some money and we would be going to one of the parks this weekend. I told them it was Universal. I told them we would not be going to Disney this weekend. Baby started to cry. A little bit, and I could tell he was fighting not to do so, burying his fists into his eyes.
So I explained Disney was not cancelled. We would not go this weekend but that we would go. I told them we needed to save money for the trip. They asked me how much. I explained the cost of the tickets and the hotel (Daughter thought hotels were free!) and the gas and the food and said to be absolutely safe, we would need one thousand dollars. The number was met with wide eyes and wows and then they started suggesting different ways to make money. Eldest thought he could sell comics he draws out in the front of the house. Daughter suggested we hold a garage sale. Baby just watched and got excited because they were excited and that was good.
So I calmed them down and said that we would save the money and I would draw a thermometer and we would track the money and when we filled it to the top we would go. And then I told them I needed to measure them and that they should go to Universal’s website to see what rides and shows they liked the most and that was that. After the meeting, I drew the envelope and showed it to them. After Universal, we’ll start saving somehow some way.
It’s funny, yesterday I felt SO good. I mean I felt really powerful and ready– for anything, for everything. Today I’m sort of hovering. Not bad not great just sort of in the middle. But it’s weird because I can’t seem to push myself over into really excited and happy while at the same time, I feel it’s too easy to fall the other way.
Their dad sent me an email last night that he was going back to working for a company, that he already had two offers on the table, and was in the process. he said things would be back to normal soon and he was sorry. I just shrugged.
What exactly is normal anyway?