May is expensive around here. I laughed to myself the other day, when Charlotte handed me a list of things she wanted. I told her it wasn't Christmas, and she would most likely wind up disappointed on her birthday if she thought she was getting everything on her list. She shrugged and walked away. I really hope she got my message.
We already cut out birthday parties. I'm all for birthday celebrations like the ones I had as a kid. A cake, (in my case it was lemon meringue pie) and one gift. I got to have soda on my birthday too. That was a pretty big deal on Tulip Grove Drive. My mom wouldn't even let us have American cheese. Anything with BHT, BHA, artificial coloring, or preservatives was banned from our house. I didn't have a Twinkie until 4th grade!
Cuts are necessary. We just cut cable and our home phone. Trimming the fat will definitely help out our monthly "budget". ( I use that term loosely) I find that when we make a cut, the gods of savings look down on us, and laugh, replacing it with a bigger expense, so really, we wind up still paying out the same, and never quite saving what we thought we were going to. It just gets moved around. Like a shell game. What coconut shell is that extra $100.00 under, and where will it need to disappear to this month?
Charlotte and Olivia love physical education at school. LOVE it. And they both adore art. Olivia came home with a painting of the Delaware Water Gap. It is breathtaking. Painted in the style of Vincent Van Gogh. Five or six swirling suns in a darkening sky of blue rippling clouds moved me when I saw it, and made me realize, more than ever, how very hard every teacher works.
This economy, for lack of a better word, sucks. They report improvement in it, but I have yet to see it on my end as of this writing. And most, if not all families that I know, have been rocked by it. Saying no to my girls is something that we have to do. We can't indulge them. That would be irresponsible, and what kind of adults would we be helping to form? But with this shell game that my family keeps playing, so to is the repetition of the word no. No to parties. No to dinners out, and clothes shopping. No to new sneakers this month, and sorry, I can't pay for you to order books. They'll live.
But how do I explain Physical Education being cut. Or tell Olivia, with her love of singing, that Music might be gone. My girls school, the Monroe County School District, is considering some pretty serious stuff, due to a reduction in funding. They are considering cutting teachers. Increasing class size. Half day kindergarten. Elimination of educational courses and extracurricular programs. Even school closings!
This is the unkindest cut. We cannot play a shell game with our kids future. It simply isn't responsible. Our children are our future. We cannot allow them to suffer. They deserve a quality education. Nothing less. So May 15th, and 16th, call or e-mail your legislators and the Governors office. Our legislators need to hear from their constituents that education is a priority to them!
No one ever beats the shell game.