When we raise our children as liabilities, we will never stop paying for them.
"Anthony is refusing to work," Eve Clifford complains to her best friend Sandy Copeland at their weekly Saturday evening dinner. "I am still paying off his student loan. I don't know what else to do. It's like I have been raising a liability for the past twenty-eight years."
Sandy eased closer to her, hugged her, then complimented, "Of course, honey. You have, and you have done a great job."
Pulling away from her, complaining, "Some friend you are. I am pouring my heart out, and you are mocking me."
Sandy eases her chair back, lifts the tablecloth, stares at Eve's shoes under the table, then asks, "Do you feel comfortable walking back the last twenty years in them three-toe shoes?"
Rolling her eyes, Sandy yanked her back before she resisted.
"Anthony is six weeks older than my Peter. Do you remember when they were eight and Peter saved his allowance and bought a bike?"
"Yea, and he used it to deliver papers and groceries to the elderly in our community for a small fee."
"I suggested that Anthony do the same. You said your eight-year-old child doesn't need a job because he doesn't have a wife and children."
Sandy went on. "At twelve years old, Peter would bag groceries in Thompson's Supermarket after school and on Saturdays for extra money. He said he wanted a car for his sixteenth birthday. Do you remember what you said when I suggested that Anthony do the same?"
"I said I didn't want my child bagging groceries in a supermarket," Eve protests. "Someone should have slapped me in my face for saying that."
"At sixteen, when all of his classmates had part-time jobs. You said your Tony was young and needed to enjoy his life."
Eve signed sincerely and reflected, "I did many things wrong, didn't I?"
Sandy agreed and continued, "Anthony was the only student in his high school class that didn't receive a scholarship to college, nor was he offered a summer job or internship by any of the companies that supported our school."
Eve swallowed her disappointment.
"It took your son six and a half years to finish a four-year college, while you slave two jobs to pay his way through. His classmates completed their masters. All are employed in their chosen field and profession and are enjoying the life they want. He has a degree in Business Management and refused to use it while living under your roof. You paid all of his bills, feed and clothed him, allowing him to sleep when he wanted to. Wake up after sunrise, while you must leave your home for work before the sun rises. You raised him to be a liability, and you will always be in debt because of that."
"Why did all of you allow me to do these things?" she cried as the tears found their way down.
Sandy swallowed the rage that the past shared, then calmly reminded, "I, your siblings, your parents, both of his grandparents and father intervened. You told us . . ."
The anger and regret in Eve snapped, "I remembered what I said. How was I to know he would become a burden."
Sandy stared at her with furled brows, then said, "many parents aren't aware, but some of them raise their children to be an asset, and others raised them to be a liability."
"Like me!" Eve admits. "I raised him to be a loan that I will never be able to repay."
Sandy takes a deep breath, saying, "It's not too late. At some point, he must grow up."
"And I think that time should be now!" Eve said.
When we raise our children as liabilities, we will never stop paying for them. But if we raise assets, we pay ourselves, and our investments will never stop growing and improving.
What are you raising? Assets or Liabilities?
Thank you for reading this piece. I hope you enjoy it.