So any parent of a young child knows those initials. "DS". My kids have been asking for one since they first caught sight the little devil gaming systems. But Zach and I talked about it and made a decision.
They'd have to save for one.
We chose this for many reasons. Probably the first being that we have 5 kids and 1 income. The sheer logistics of buying 5 DS's on one income does not make sense.
Then there is the little issue that we don't like the idea of our kids hiding behind gaming systems when life is playing out beautifully and wonderfully around them.
The third reason is because we are pretty serious about teaching our kids about money. Saving, giving, spending, all of that. Zach and I were crap less than stellar about all of that until just a few years ago.
We also wanted the kids to be really invested in it. We lose stuff all the time around here. We break stuff all the time around here. We thought that if we had the kids buy it with their own money, they will be more careful with it.
So that was about a year ago that we announced to the kids that they'd have to buy their own DS. Trysten was serious about it right away. Literally, I think the hour after we made this little announcement Trysten came into my room with $2 he had from the tooth fairy. That birthday he saved the $30 Wal Mart gift card he received from his aunt Kara to be spent on his DS.
A year later and Trysten had saved $165 (counting the gift card). He cleaned cars for money, saved every dollar of his teeth money, looked in the couches, flashed his eyelashes at his grandparents, etc. Pretty impressive.
So on Tuesday we took Trysten to buy his very own DS. He was so excited.
When we got to the DS case we noticed he could have the regular DS or we could give him a few more dollars and he could get the DSi (xl) that came with a game. So we looked at him, told him how proud we were of him and told him he could have the big one and we'd spot him the last few dollars. He turned to me and said, "Thank you for making my dreams come true." Sniff, sniff.
We had him ask the woman for help, had him pay for it, everything. To drive the point home that he was doing this, it was his. And then he wanted to call his Grandma Connie to thank her for giving him some of the money.
On our way out Trysten says to Zach, "You know what I love more than the DS? You guys."
So I'm really proud of him. He's getting to that age where half the time he acts too cool, sometimes he's super selfish, he's starting to become a young man. But he's still my firstborn. The oldest. It's very hard to treat him like a young man when he'll always be my baby.
Baby or young man, either way, I love him more than can possibly be explained.
Oh, and if you're keeping track. The kid with the next closest amount is Dailah, with a staggering $17. Tariku has about $2 (he likes to lose his money and/or spend it on gum). Tomas is up to $5 because he keeps pulling out his own teeth. Binyam has nothing because, well, he drops it within a few minutes of receiving any and forgets to tell me until the next day...and then he can't remember where he dropped it. Though they all seem a bit more motivated now after seeing the DS live and in the flesh...and in the hands of a sibling.