I read this headline yesterday on my MSN homepage:
“What is Santa’s job worth? Try $133,000”
You know I clicked on it. I had to. That is quite a good salary for being Santa, or so I thought. What I read surprised me as it will probably surprise you also.
My first thought was that this is the “Proverbs 31 Woman”!!! Seriously. And then it hit me…this is what each & every parent is worth on any given day. Once we birth a child, these are the tasks that we do on a regular basis, whether a mom or a dad…
- “knows if you’ve been good or bad”….every parent strives to know the ins & outs of what goes on in the life of their child especially once in school. Who knew that the revelatory meeting I had with a science teacher when one of my own was in the 9th grade was worth $689.70!!! Who knew?
- “correspondence clerk”….we sort through piles of junk mail every day to hold onto the few much needed. Who knew that answering the question, “Did we get any mail today?” was worth $1656.00!! Who knew?
- “sales worker”….we head to the supermarket on a regular basis. Sometimes we take our lives in our hands if we choose Market Basket. Who knew that food shopping was worth $2388.00!! Who knew?
- “industrial engineer”….we vacuum, do laundry, mop, dust, do dishes every day. Who knew that being a “merry maid” & sometimes a not so merry maid was worth $109,840.64!! Who knew?
- “sleigh driver”…..we shuttle our kids to each place they need to be on a daily basis. Who knew that those early mornings at the ice skating rink & basketball practices was worth $554.30!! Who knew?
- “labor relations”…we referee our kids on a regular basis. Who knew that breaking up an argument (& saving my sanity) was worth $5073.50!! Who knew?
I do not think any parent needs a chart to know that parenting is, indeed, a hard job. It is the hardest job that any of us will ever do in our lifetime. It is also the job that reaps countless rewards. This morning as I reflected on that chart, this Scripture came to mind:
“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” (Proverbs 17:6 NIV).
The New American Commentary explains it this way:
“Behind this apparently innocuous proverb is a profound assertion of the psychological interdependence of the generations. Elders derive a sense of pride from their descendants, and children get their self-worth from parents. On the other hand, one generation can cause shame and a sense of worthlessness in another” (Commentary on Proverbs, page 159).
Today as I continue to do “my job” may I be filled with a deep sense that it is more than a job. May I instill in my family that they are valuable to me & loved. More importantly, that they are valuable & loved by God.
I have one more “statistic” to add to that chart:
- “building and leaving a legacy”……….PRICELESS!!!!!