A drop in the bucket, the tip of the iceberg, a whisper in the wind.
The stimmie came today. I have 3 kids. Well, 2 and an 18 year old dependent in the eyes of the IRS. So, it’s a lot. For a single parent teacher, anyways. I give their mom her chunk, so basically I get the 9 year old’s money and she gets the middle guy’s, or vice-versa, and then we agreed to stash the eldest’s wad for a graduation gift. And still, for me anyways, it’s a solid amount of money.
Except it’s not because where I live, and, I think, just the economic world in general, is not set up for 5th year educators to flourish. We knew that when we got in. I’m not complaining. But I’m also not flush with extra cash now that this influx has arrived. Especially when I hold it up to the amount I owe in loans which I had to take out in order to enter this world.
I shop at Goodwill for me and the kids and beyond insurances and car payments, actually have very little to pay for monthly and yet I am mostly check to check. Single parent, 3 kids. It’s a drop in the bucket and the bucket is, basically, the size of a public aquarium.
I want to spoil them for a minute. Hell, I want to spoil me for a minute. Get my girl some earrings or whatever and some splashy New Balance dad shoes for me.
I did what I’ve literally never done this morning which was to throw a little of it at my car. A payment beyond the monthly minimum? Okaaaaaay Mr. Rockefeller. How would you like your slacks pressed? Shall we perhaps dabble in some third shelf red wine from Target this evening?
But I need to turn this whisper in the financial maelstrom wind in which I generally kite about into an actual home, finally, for us. With that will come furniture and beds and the like. It’s not just about a safety deposit and first and last.
I have done the legwork, taken steps to do the legwork, on repairing my credit. Step one was to learn what that means. I won’t go into details, we are all but the sum of our choices (I say this a lot but have no idea where I got it. A movie? Book? A dream?), and something beyond my specific grasp did a number on my credit score. But I researched and worked and built and it’s been very satisfying.
So it may be a pittance in the face of what’s needed, and I am having to suppress every urge to use it to give my kids and my people cash-bought memories and experiences that I usually can’t. That’s just who I am.
I’m nervous, so nervous, I’m going to screw this up but I feel like I’m finally so close. I feel like most of my friends would see dreaming of a 3-4 bedroom apartment or rental home for my little family, secretly, as pathetic. And in the grand scheme it probably is. But it’s where I’m at. I do know that if I am at level pathetic now, then where I was before definitely felt as awful as it should have. The light is nearing, even if it is a pinhole in the long darkness. Hopefully this miniscule windfall can be the break I’ve needed all along.