J W Goossen Creative

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JW Goossen Writing Random Sample 1

"Are they all yours?"  My wife gets asked this question a lot.  You wouldn't think that having more than two young children, in this day and age, was such a cultural rarity.  Perhaps the rarity is assuming that the children are all from one, still in tact marital union.  When I take them for a walk, people simply assume that I am riding shotgun over a neighbourhood birthday party.  In a country that averages 1.7 children per household, 5.0 can seem like a crowd to some.  The way I see it, once you're outnumbered it makes little difference how many there are.

I can now look back and laugh at those who think that one child is a handful.  Not that it isn't, but I can still laugh.  There is certainly a change in lifestyle once the children appear, as those with can attest to.  Those without can pretend to know, but having cats just isn't the same.

With our first one, we managed to drag her along everywhere but with the second we starting being late for everything.  After the third, we never got out of the house, but then we weren't invited out much anyway.  Once the fourth came along, no one returned our Christmas cards, lest we find out where they live.  Now that we have five, we can only comfortably visit with those who have four or more.  Common situations make for good commiserations.

It isn't like this was an accident, although I wouldn't say that family planning is an exact science.  Prior to marriage my wife and I discussed how many children we wanted.  I wanted eight and she wanted four.  After some discussion we settled on four, but I got in the last shot.  Last being the operative word.

My reasons were mainly economical.  After all, I read the Financial Post and I know there will be no Canadian Pension Plan funds available by the time I get to retire.  Since buying lottery tickets is against my principles, I knew I would have to rely on my offspring to carry the debt load I have acquired.  As it turns out, studies show that by the time my children grow up, they will be lucky to have part-time jobs and will probably all move home before they are thirty.  Maybe by then NAFTA will have provided Mexico with a high enough standard of living, while maintaining a low peso, so that we can at least retire to somewhere warm and affordable.

Last month's local paper had an article which outlined the costs of supporting a single child for a year.  Given the ages of our children ( 9, 8, 6, 4,  and 1) they should cost around $43,000 for the coming year.  This is after tax dollars.  Like I should be earning $88,000 just to support the children, let alone myself - NOT!  Thank goodness for the George Washington Carver's peanut butter, bulk cases of Kraft dinner and the neighbourhood thrift store.  Such a deal!

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