The Fallout From a Non-Magical Childhood

When my oldest brother Charles went off to college, I was 11, and family vacations ceased completely. Because now the vacation money was most definitely being spent on my brother’s education.

I don’t remember that ever bothering me, though.

I don’t remember a lot of discontent.

When I was a tween in the late 1980s my dad got a 1976 Buick Skylark that he drove us around in for a few years. It was SO NOT COOL. But it got us from A to B. And A to B with my dad was most often from garage sale to garage sale or perhaps from garage sale to Big Lots. My parents were frugal, and because of it, we never wanted for anything.

I’ve said all of this to make just one point: My entirely un-magical childhood was still the most wondrous childhood I can imagine. Every day I lived with two perfectly imperfect parents who loved God, each other, and my brothers and I fiercely. They showed that love with hugs and kisses, words, and by MEETING OUR NEEDS. They went to work. They fed and clothed us, they took us where we needed to go, they supported our interests, and they never said “no” unless they had a good reason.

Sometimes that reason was that we couldn’t afford it.

And let me tell you, no amount of debt they could have accrued by giving us all the “extras” that parents today feel that their kids NEED, could have possibly eclipsed the beauty of the childhood they gave us just by being freaking good parents. Not indulgent, not “involved,” not anything but just good.

Mamas, hear me: GOOD is GREAT.

I didn’t have a magical childhood. I had something BETTER. I had parents who loved me and others, who served God, and who taught me how to be a good person by EXAMPLE. And if my husband and I are half the parents mine were, my kids will one day sing the praises of their own non-magical childhoods as well.

No vacation, toy, car, or other material gift could have had more value.

If you have the means to give your kids material things and still keep them grounded, then go for it. Ain’t nothing wrong with a trip to the Magic Kingdom. But if you don’t, give them what you’ve got.

It is MORE than enough, I promise you. I promise you.


(Side note: to prove that I am not against all things magical, I reallyreallyreallyreally want to take myself, I mean my kids, to Hogwarts. LIKE SO BAD. So that may be a magical goal I’m setting!)

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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