You might have seen the meme. The question: Who seemed really rich when you were growing up? The answer: Parents who picked their kids up right after school.
Now it’s true that not even needing childcare is a great privilege. To be able to afford to be free at 3pm in the afternoon on a weekday? To not even need to pay a nanny or a babysitter to do it for you? Not everyone is so lucky.
But the point of today’s email is not to shame anyone about childcare. It’s to make a different point. Because, while we know that it can be logistically difficult and financially tough picking your own kids up from school on time, the act also illustrates that that’s what kids think of as wealth. It’s similar to that other line you hear from successful adults: “I didn’t even know we were poor growing up.”
Because to a kid, “rich” does not usually mean money. To them, wealth is measured in freedom, in the attention they get, in whether or not they feel safe and secure, if their house feels like a home, in how much time they get with you. And that’s really good news for you, Dad. Even if you only make $30,000 a year.
Because you can make most of those things happen without spending a dollar.