Monday, October 11, 2010


How much is too much to spend on your child?

Of course, it depends on WHAT you are actually getting for your child, right?

I mean, you don't want them to expect things to be given to them without working for them. A treat, every now and then, is OK. I'm thinking about Christmas, birthdays and special occasions. For the most part, we ask the kids to save their allowance for non-necessities.

DS games are expensive. The boys buy their own... unless we get them one as a gift. I think this is a normal thing that parents do. Kids need to know the value of money. It also helps with the "I wants." They don't assume they are going to get something, every time they want it, because they know that many things are expensive.

Take the fair. Every year, we go to The Great State Fair of Texas. Every year, we spend money on rides and food. Every year, the grown ups leave cranky. Every year, the boys feel that they should have gotten more.


This year, we told the boys that we were going to watch more shows and see more exhibits. We told the kids that we (read: Daddy) would buy the food, but if they wanted to ride any Midway rides, that was their purchase.

Instead of complaining, the kids chose 2 rides each..... TWO! We were very proud of them. (For the record, the boys who earn an allowance did this, we paid for 2 rides for our youngest.) We left happy. We got to try all the foods we wanted. They boys had fun spending time with us. Daddy wasn't cranky. AND, we only spent about 1/3 of our normal amount.

Yeah, we try to set price limits. Sure, we realize it is "just money," but it is a necessary evil. If you don't really have the money, you need to determine if you really need what you are looking to buy.

All well and good, huh?

My third son is about to start surgeries on his ear.

What is a fair price?

It is purely elective.... totally cosmetic.

He has been excited about his "new ear" for a few years now. We have been looking toward this for the past 7 1/2 years.

This can help his self-esteem (maybe... he is a pretty tough little cookie) and certainly will allow him to avoid questions, awkward moments, and possible teasing in the future.

What is that worth?

For him to go into a new situation knowing he will not have to answer questions about why one of his ears doesn't look like the other. Explaining that YES, he can hear. And saying to the little kids who ask him what happened that, "This is the ear God gave me and when I'm in 1st grade, I get a new one."

When it is built up like that, do you just decide, "Nope.... it is not worth it?"

Right now, if we are not able to work out something between insurance and the doctors, hospital and anesthesiologist, we will spend, roughly $20,000 on this. one. surgery. Count the zeros..... that is twenty-THOUSAND!

When asked about the other 2 surgeries necessary to complete the process, we were told that they were "comparable to the first."


So, I ask again.... how much is too much? If this were a disease, would you not go to the ends of the earth to figure out a way to pay? Is mental health as important as physical health? Because, that is what we are facing. The mental health of my child.

Does he know? Can he, and others, understand that I will do ANYthing to help him be happy?This is not the same as a carnival ride. I don't expect him to wait until he can afford a portion of this price.

No, we are doing what we can. We have cancelled a vacation. We are tightening our purse strings. I am subbing. I will return to teaching next year.

If insurance DOES pan out, we might only have to pay about 8% of the total.... like $5,000 can qualify as "only."

If insurance does NOT pay..... well, we will cross that bridge when we get to it. We are facing a tough time, mentally.... and, very possibly, financially.

In the end, we know that our Father provides and He will make a way for us to do this.

Thank you for listening.


Unknown said...

I would do what it takes too. Praying that you find a way.

Unknown said...

Wow LL! Praying for God's provision.
Makes me glas we have our NHS here in the UK, even though it gets hassles.

Carol said...

My heart goes out to you and your little guy!! We had a similar experience in our family that had scary consequences. Be sure you know the doctor and his qualifications before making any commitments.

~LL~ said...

Carol.... thanks. We have checked.... it's his qualifications that is making to cost so much. :)

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why they won't pay...because it's cosmetic? That is so wrong. A little guy like your son has looked forward to this. Praying for him and your family as decisions are made and answers are heard! God is bigger than this!!

Kaira said...

Wow, what a challenge this will be! My husband and I were just talking about this and somehow, someway we would do it too. I have no idea how but we would find a way because mental health is important. Kids are so mean to each other and you are right to help him in this area. It's great that he has such a good attitude about his special ear but it's hard to say how teasing could tear at his spirit as he gets older. Can you use your blog to generate some extra revenue? I bet you could raise some money through here to help - even if it is just a small percentage.

Anonymous said...

Paula, it isn't that they won't pay. They will pay. It just isn't enough. For this 1st surgery, the doc charges $31,000 and the insurance will pay $11,000. That leaves the other $20,000 to us.


Alicia @ said...

Praying for you in this LL! Such a huge thing to go through, but I know you and your hubby are great parents and will trust and seek the Lord. Praying!