Tuesday, February 23, 2010


First, thanks for sticking with me in my fits and starts. I have about 50 million posts in my head (ok 4 definite ones all thought out) and just no umph to get them out.

Second, NO, my recent bout of minor stomach virus resulted in NO weight loss. Must hope for more vriulent strain next time, I suppose.

So relations with my in-laws continue to thaw. My husband calls there once every ten days or so, and his mother reaches out to him, too, calling or e-mailing or texting about the same.

For Valentine's Day, she sent a huge gift box. My daughter got a goody bag of candy, two fancy spring dresses from Laura Ashley, and an outfit from Gymboree. My son got the same goody bag, two play outfits from Carters, and an outfit from Gymboree.

My mom sent cards to both, with stickers and a $5 bill.

My parents are very thrifty, very frugal, and enjoying their retirement on their own terms. I never worry about their future. His parents are spendthrifts, have declared bankruptcy, have a full mortgaged house, regularly spend more than they take in, vacation in the Caribbean, bought a timeshare, rely upon a pension, eat out frequently, and purchase lavish gifts. Who will take care of them once the money eventually runs out?

So I grew up living within my means, only buying what I could afford (which meant after money was put away for rainy days and future desires). And these gifts kill me. I love shiny new things are much as anyone. I love the dresses and outfits for my daughter. I used to enjoy receiving gifts from them myself. But I know the true costs of those gifts. Not what they cost today, but what they'll cost in the future, either in terms of expectations or family fights once they run out of money and require their children to take care of them. I don't want to pay either price. I don't want my kids to eyeroll at my parent's frugality and prefer big boxes from their other grandparents. I want them to understand value, not cost. I want them not to be swayed by shiny and new.

I think I just have to trust that values will win out. I also have to accept that they will develop their own relationships with each set of grandparents, and that's a good thing.

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