I recently moved with my 4 kids from our 4500 sq ft cul-de-sac McMasion in the suburbs to an 1100 sq ft, 4th floor urban loft.
When I was packing up the house, I discovered I had saved 33 backpacks in big plastic storage containers in my floor-to-12ft-ceiling, 25 ft long storage closet.
I, too, was poor as a kid and I hadn’t realized, as an adult, why I felt compelled to save all those backpacks. The truth is that I lived in a perpetual state of fear that the next school year would be the year that I wouldn’t have enough to buy my kids new backpacks. So, every year, I had tucked the ones that still had use in them away — just in case.
My youngest wears hand-me-downs that have managed to survive 7 years and 3 older sisters.
I always take my leftovers home from a restaurant. Always.
Your article is poignant and I find my kids experiencing the same dichotomy: they carry both the anxieties that they have learned from watching my economizing habits and the somewhat blase’ attitude toward money that comes with the relative economic security that is their reality.
I let those backpacks go.
I donated them and told myself that I will have faith and confidence in my ability to provide for my family.
It was liberating (but I still struggle to toss leftovers.)
Great piece. 👏