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The Money of Values

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For three weeks this money has sat here. Where? On my dinner table. Whose money is it? My son’s. $0.90. Not a king’s ransom by any means, but not nothing either. Especially for one who has no income.

I keep reminding him that it is there, and he keeps not caring. The thirty-eight year old in me thinks he’s being silly. The eight year old in me is pissed off, though.

We did not grow up with much. As a matter of fact, growing up, my sister and I had to pick out roach babies from our cereal. As we hit our teen years, our financial status improved slightly. While going to university, my sister worked at KFC; during my senior year of high school, I worked at Discovery Zone as a birthday party hostess. Her earnings gave her enough for gas and entertainment; my minimal income gave me enough for makeup and Vogue magazines. I was alright with that.

I am now in a financial position that allows me a bit of freedom. I don’t go crazy with it, though, as I know that fortunes can change overnight.

But it makes me wonder about my son. I now realize that he’s in a different social class than I was when I was a child.

While making me feel proud and relieved, it concerns me. Do you have to grow up poor to value money? Do you have to grow up poor to work hard to have more? I don’t know.

But maybe he’ll be okay, as what he holds as valuable is politeness, health and a good amount of family time. I didn’t care about those things while I was growing up.

I did tire of seeing the coins on the table, though, and made him put them in his piggy.

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The red piggy is called the “right now” piggy, while the clear one is called the “short term” piggy, and the brown one is called the “long term” piggy. These are independent of his bank accounts.

In inspecting his piggies, I am reminded that while trusting, my son has a calculating mind. It makes me feel better. Maybe he won’t need desperation or fear to succeed.

Cyndia Rios-Myers

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