You know what's bad about not having money? Wrinkles. On your forehead. Also the pile of bills growing yellowed with age and fruit being too expensive to buy.
You know what's good about not having money? Well, do ya, punk?
I think that I am beginning to see some. What's good about not having money is the lower appreciation threshold. (I borrowed that expression from a well-spoken Rebbetzin. It means to be truly happy and appreciate the small things.) When we rent a car (as apposed to always having one at our disposal) it is AMAZING to open a car door and hop in and take your time loading it up and having it there when you come back. Princess said the other day, "remember when you picked me up in the car, and I sat in the front seat and we drove home?" First I was sad--she has MEMORIES of being picked up by a CAR? Then I realized--she experienced it. She enjoyed it. She remembered it. It was fun. Why does it have to be disneyland? Why can't it be a car?
I do think that kids should--every once in a while--have a day from a fairy tale. Fun fun fun--lots of it--and candy, too. Those days are stuff that dreams and memories are made of. (Also upset stomachs and overtired crankiness. I hear tell.) But I am starting to think--and maybe even starting to feel--that he who is rich is he who is happy with what he has.
My mother, who is a very wise person, said that when she buying a new fridge, she thought about getting one with an ice maker on the outside. She didn't in the end because she decided that her luxuries would be our necessities. What she wanted as something really nice but not necessary would be something that her kids, growing up with it, would not be able to do without.
Maybe that's why I can live in a 40 year-old apartment that had not been redone at all (except perhaps by people who chewed the walls and dropped heavy things down on the tiles in the living room). And when I get hooks for coats, it can be a day to be all happy and warm inside. It's not sad that Princess turned to me sleepily while I put her in tonight and said, "Aunt X sent me so much STUFF." (Read: hand-me-downs.) (although honestly, my sister has better taste than me and LOOOOVES shopping, which I despise. So--the clothes are cute and fresh.) She doesn't think that she has a closet full of used clothes.
She just feels loved.