Monday, November 2, 2009

i have a crabby dad


i can vividly remember my dad paying bills. not so much paying them, as much as him dragging out a hard-sided briefcase, thumping it onto our kitchen table, and hearing those 2 clicks of the locks popping open. those 2 clicks were like a gunshot, as we raced to leave the room to avoid the upcoming wrath. he'd grab the checkbook, grab the receipts, and grab the LARGE stack of bills. it was a good way to ruin a perfectly nice saturday, cuz for the rest of the day, he'd be furious.

flash forward 20 years to me, sitting at my desk, pulling out my b&w composition notebook (even though i use quicken, it still helps me to see it on paper), and starting the day with 2 clicks of a pen. the kids were lucky enough to escape to school, but the dogs are laying on my bed in the other room, avoiding me. that long list of bills on the notebook stares me down, and they only go up every month. the 5 little lines that are our 5 jobs we share always seem staying the same, and the only thing that goes up is our frustrations. cutting back, check. working more, check. feeling the pinch, double check. its frustrating, living the american dream. owning a home, and watching so much of your money go right out the door (literally!).

i never understood why my dad was so crabby. our lives were so full, and our house was so great. we never had want for anything, and even though we may not have driven the "best" cars or had the latest anything, we had everything we needed. but i do get it now. his frustration was not with our spending, it was how his time was spent all day long at work. And once he did all the math, how very little he had to show for it once all the bills were paid.

i am so blessed, to be homeowner, still current on their mortgage, with all utilities paid in full every month, and groceries to feed our family of six. I'm grateful, so very very grateful. but sometimes, its like, in between the jobs and the kids, and nate and i just seeing each other in passing, i want to remember a time when it wasn't like this. and the sad thing is, there isn't one.

dear dad, i know why you were angry. you missed us, and the opportunity to be with us, because you were working hard to send your money to people who were just going to take it all again next month. i'm sorry i never realized it until now, when i've become that person too.

2 comments:

The House Family said...

Thanks for sharing this Leslie... I love your transparency! Praying you will reach a place where there is more margin. You and Nate work so hard, and your kids reap the biggest benefits! This makes me ponder... is the American dream, really all it's cracked up to be?!

suddenfire said...

mk...you just lovingly kicked me in the butt and all I can say is thanks!