Thursday, March 23, 2006


Yesterday, I went to Target to special order the $50 pack of fertility test sticks which I need for use with my $200 fertility monitor. The irony that all of this is happening to produce a person whose college education will come with a possible two hundred thousand dollar price tag does not escape me.

There is a song I sing to my son whenever he begins ticking off items he wants to invoice me for (But Mom! I HAVE to do the dishes, but I didn't HAVE to clean the floor!). The song was released in the seventies by Gospel artist Shirley Caesar:

For the nine months I carried you, growing inside me: no charge
For the nights I sat up with you, doctored you, prayed for you: no charge
For the advice, and the knowledge, and the cost of your college: no charge
When you add it all up, the total cost of my love is: no charge

The song always shuts him up. Not so much because I'm absolutely right, but because he wants me to stop singing.

My next child will have it even worse. Before we even get to the 'nine months I carried you' line, there will be seventeen verses. It is possible I will have to put my existing child out to stud, and sell the resulting baby on the black market, to finance the conception of child number two if things continue in this vein.

When I compare the differences between my first and pending pregnancies, I can't help but roll my eyes. To date, I have paid for a fertility monitor, test sticks, books, boxes and boxes of home pregnancy test kits, ovulation kits, and doctor's appointments which will only continue to get more complicated and expensive. To conceive my son, I believe his father bought a beer. And even that memory is up for question.

My parents used to tell us that we wouldn't be able to appreciate what we had until we were parents ourselves, and that there really was no way to ever repay your parents (they weren't mean, I swear. Somehow, in the context of the conversations, it was appropriate for them to be telling their offspring that they were in the poorhouse as a result of being parents).

I now know exactly what they mean. My children are/will be walking checkbook deductions literally coming and going.

But that's okay. The total cost of my love is still: no charge.

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