The click of the lock startles us. We look at each other and then turn towards the door. Someone’s coming. It is just he and I right now, but we’re not complete. We’re waiting.
As the door opens, my baby toddles over. He gets just close enough, then stops. Smiles. Waves. Turns to me.
Look, Mommy! Do you see? Do you see who is finally home?!
This is what we were looking forward to, me consciously, him unconsciously. Looking forward to the time of day when it wouldn’t just be he and I. It would be all of us.
Look, Mommy! Do you see? Are you as excited as I am?
This was what happened, every afternoon when I was on maternity leave. I loved my time at home with Cameron, but when my husband walked through the door I felt a slight sigh of relief leaving my body. I was no longer the sole parent. I had my partner.
To Cameron, Daddy walking through the front door was such a brilliant surprise. Here was someone Cameron was excited to see who was just as excited to see Cameron. Someone who would play with him and laugh with him and snuggle with him, if Cameron was willing. Here was Cameron’s playmate. Cameron’s Daddy.
After a big hug, Daddy would usually put Cameron down and walk into the bedroom. Without fail, Cameron would follow him, pitter pattering into the bedroom, waiting to walk through another threshold only to be met with glee once again. Together Cameron and Daddy would hang out in the bedroom for five minutes. Daddy would be getting out of his suits and ties and Cameron would be wandering the room, picking up things on the floor and smiling at his Dad.
One day, it took my two boys longer than normal to come into the family room. I could hear something happening down the hall or in the bedroom, but I couldn’t quite make out what was happening.
As I rounded the corner, I saw my boys with this.
This is a bank that Cameron’s aunts painted for him.
Apparently Cameron had found some coins on our bedroom floor and had (of course) tried to put them in his mouth. Dan told him no and instead directed his attention towards putting the coins in his bank.
When I saw this, I kind of felt like I had been run over by a big Mack truck.
Because finances are tough, aren’t they. Who amongst us has never had to worry about the paycheque or the bills or the debt or wanting more than is affordable? Who amongst us has never stressed over money?
As I watched my son’s little fingers navigate the difficult task of getting the round coin into the slim slot, I realized that Dan and I have been given the responsibility of teaching Cameron about money. We are charged with getting him ready to go out on his own someday and live his own life. We want Cameron to be able to have the best life possible, and that will require knowledge of how to smartly manage finances.
And that is what hit me.
That huge responsibility.
It hit me.
The fact that we are still struggling with finances.
It hit me.
The fact that someday my son will be juggling his own finances.
It hit me.
But I was also proud.
I was proud of my husband for taking an active role in teaching Cameron about saving. I was proud of my son for being so interested in what Daddy was doing with him. I was proud of my husband for realizing it is never too early to start teaching money management.
I’m not going to lie to myself. I am not going to tell myself that we have all the answers or that we have it all figured out. But that doesn’t mean that I need to wait to teach my children about the importance of healthy money management. In the simple game of putting coins into the colourful bank, my husband showed me that it is never too early to start teaching Cameron, start leading Cameron and start being a good example for Cameron.
All photos taken on March 14, 2011 when Cameron was 1 year, 1 week, 1 day old.
What about you? Have you thought about how you will instill good money management with your children? Have you started teaching? Do you have any money management parenting tips? I would love to hear them!