“If I were a rich…” is a sentence we here echoed often timelessly through present day friends or characters in older historical fiction. From the Prince and The Pauper in the time of Dickens and Aladdin from One Thousand and one nights, we know people have always daydreamed about how much easier things would be if they had money. These stories are also great because they teach us that in fact they wouldn’t naturally be so easy. The Prince and the Pauper are both met with challenges when they switch roles and in Aladdin, we meet Jasmine who is trapped by her very wealth and status because she can’t just roam the city freely as a princess. She has to be guarded and protected and craves the freedom Aladdin takes for granted. Despite these tales, we still keep wishing. I’ve always hated it when people attribute money with such importance aloud, partly because I know of my fair share of dumb wealthy people who parted with money too easily because they weren’t resourceful. Having had to rely on my own craftiness and learning to grow resourceful, I resent the importance people attribute to money. I wouldn’t mind if people talked about investing wisely, building good credit, appreciating assets and avoiding depreciating assets. I find that kind of talk interesting and think it’s great for our kids to hear it. But I find sentiments such as “When I’m rich; Get rich; money talks,” to be damaging for our kids ears.
Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally give in to the illusion that more money would solve my problems. As the mom to a spirited and maybe dyslexic son, I sometimes think if I could just throw money at my son’s education it would be so much easier for us both. My mom, who has worked in private school her whole life, is of the opinion that he belongs in a private school. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I’m not going to pay tuition for elementary school to get the same calls from teachers that he isn’t paying attention or following instructions. It would only be worth it to me if the school had such an alternative curriculum that he was constantly tricked into paying attention because it catered to him individually. It’s difficult with his attention span because no matter how fun something is, if he’s not into it at the moment, his attention will want to stay in hyper zoom mode on what he’s fixated on. Just this weekend, we were playing basketball with his cousin and I asked him to just try playing with us a little and he nearly threw a fit because instead he wanted to shoot bubbles from a wand onto different surfaces and watch how they reacted. When your kid is capable of getting as rowdy as mine, all you can do is take advantage of quiet times such as those and let him be. He has an IEP and is in a small classroom with six kids so that the teachers can give them more individual attention than in a large classroom. It works most of the time but there are difficult days. I toured a school with a very flexible program that sort of allows the kids to learn more hands on. The tuition is about 11,000 a year and whenever I get tired of complaints from the teachers at his present school or my son repeatedly butts heads with the same student, I find my mind wandering to the money department. If I just had more of it or maybe I can make it work with my budget somehow. One day he stayed home from school with a stomachache and I took him to the playground near that school. It happened to be the costly school’s recess time and they were on the playground with their teachers and counselors. My son was playing with his water gun, watering plants and he recognized one of the girls, who used to attend his public school. Let me just give some background information on my son quickly. For some reason, he always attracts the attention of the one other boy who likes to engage in testosterone matches. Perhaps because he is loud or tall, he inspires their competitive edge. The little girl he recognized said to him, “that boy from my class said he hopes you spray him with your gun so that he can hit you so stay close to your mom,” and of course my son, instead of just rolling his eyes and ignoring the boy approached him while I was attending to his little sister and said, “I know what you said about me.” When I looked up he was talking to him and I yelled at him to steer clear of drama. The boy began, “I’m the strongest kid here so go ahead and try me,” or some unintelligible 9 year old machos bs along those lines. The little girl squealed, “I told you to stay near your mom,” as I shot daggers at the boy and the counselors who had somehow managed to miss the whole exchange. I kept an eye on my son and the boy continued to try to attract his attention by talking loudly about wanting to hit him or getting near his water stream while my son made very little effort to avoid him. The counselors never noticed their student’s behavior. Finally the group left, and I was equal parts pleased and disappointed that I’d gotten a free preview of what my son’s socializing would look like on an 11,000 tuition. It seems that no matter how much you spend, there are always little hierarchies in schools that may go unnoticed by school aides and instructors. At his present school, we have had issues with a class bully that thankfully the guidance counselor has worked with me to keep in check. For now, I plan on continuing regular public school with supplemental education at home.