Like many kids, I had a savings account when I was a tyke. I recall loving when the few dollars I deposited were typed into my little passbook. When I was about ten, Poppo, my grandfather, felt that I should graduate to a checking account. He wanted to ensure I knew how to manage money and balance my checkbook. (Yes, I still balance my checkbooks both manually and with Quicken. Poppo taught me well.)
When I started working, I remember Jane, my stepmother, talking to me about putting my money in a money market account so I could get at least a little interest on my money. When I worked at Bank of America, I learned from my co-workers about mutual funds and dollar cost averaging.
Many years, multiple funds, IRAs and stocks later, I now have a small child who is one and received some very generous gifts for his birthday. Larry and I were faced with the decision of what to do with said windfall. While Walker suggested purchasing many, many bags of frozen peas and fresh fruit (his favorite things in the world today), we thought perhaps we should set the money aside for when he’s a bit older to make more informed purchasing decisions (to get stuff like baseball gloves and patches for his jeans and jackets). But savings accounts don’t have the cachet they used to and savings bonds don’t feel terribly efficient. (Do you recall where your bond certificates are 20 years later?)
So I started thinking, perhaps Walker needs “My First Investment Account”. So, we opened a custodial Schwab account and we’ll be investing his bounty in an S&P Index Fund until he’s old enough to start day trading. And according to our financial adviser, now is a perfect time. The Dow has taken a plunge and it’s time to Buy! Buy! Buy! Good timing Walker. Let’s assume this is just the beginning of a very wise (and lucky) pattern of investing. (And if Schwab or some other financial institution is pulling ideas from the community and decides to start a program called, My First Investment Account, I’d be more than happy to talk to them about licensing the rights to the idea. I mean, Baby’s gotta have some assets!)
Another thing I’d like to share…
I recently had an opportunity to take a day off (it was a weekday and I took a day off work and Walker went to Sofiya’s). When I used to have a day off, I’d PLAY. That would mean sleeping in (or staying in bed until the double digits), going to a movie, restaurant dining, taking a walk, hanging out in the garden or window shopping. But, like so many things, after Walker was born, the entire concept of a “Day Off” changed. Today, when I have a day off it’s an opportunity to get those “one more things” that I haven’t been able to address completed. So during my last, “day off”, I did a quick Costco run for paper products and diapers, did a favor for my brother (who was auditioning for a Discovery Channel TV show), opened an investment account (see above) and got a hair cut. I did catch a quick rest between 4:30 and 5:30 when I had to pick up our Little Face (Gigi’s pet name for Walker). There were no movies, no sleeping in, no window shopping. But that’s the way life is and I love it.
I’m so happy with my life right now despite the absence of seeing first-run movies in the theater (I can’t believe I’ve only seen TWO in the last 8 months — OMG). Today, Larry and I were talking about our favorite song on the Barenaked Ladies’ CD “Snack Time.” There’s a song called “Things” and the lyrics are as follows:
There are things that make me mad
You are not one of them
There are things that make me sad
You are not one of them
There are things that make me dad
You seem to be all of them.
That’s the entire song. I read the lyrics to Larry and I burst into tears. It’s such a simple and sweet thought. It’s how I feel about Walker. I guess this answers my sister’s question about whether I am full of love for my little boy.
And if you want another super sweet thought (I can’t leave you with the image of me bawling on my child’s floor, crumpled in my husband’s arms while my child sings along to the Barenaked Ladies)… Walker has started to really make his desires known. He has started to yell and even CRY if we take something away from him while he’s playing with it (oh, like the tube of hydrocortisone we keep on his changing table or the soon to disintegrate TiVo remote). He also laughs and smiles until he’ll burst when we do things he likes (like chase after him when he’s crawling around the house). So this afternoon, Walker was taking a nap and I chose to catch up on some zzzz’s as well. He awoke before me and Larry went into Walker’s room to get him. Walker decided to crawl down the hall and into the living room. But I heard the commotion and decided to surprise Walker by getting on the floor in the bedroom, on the other side of the house and peeking around the corner. Larry pointed me out and Walker got a big smile on his face. We crawled toward each other with Walker’s giggling getting faster and louder the closer we get. We met in the middle of the house and he rested his little head on my shoulder and hugged and hugged like he never thought he’d see me again. (Reminded me of the cliche movie scenes where two people run down the beach into each other’s arms — only much, much sweeter.)
I love my life. I love my family.
(And if you have available money, invest now!)