Last Christmas one of the things Number 4 asked for was an iPod, but after seeing how the kids are often irresponsible with stuff that they don’t actually spend their own money on, I decided that if they wanted any electronics, they would have to buy them themselves.
So Number 4 has been saving up money since then.
But being ten years old, the money saving process can be slow going.
We talked about things she could do to earn money, and this past summer, she tried really hard to get a mother’s helper job.
I teach swim lessons out of our pool in the summer. Some kids come with younger siblings who will hang out during the lesson and play in our back yard with my kids. Every time a younger sibling tagged along to a lesson this summer, Number 4 would come out and play and interact with the kids. She would let the moms know that she was looking for a mother’s helper job and that she was available to help them should they need help.
She never did get any jobs, but she sure did try.
In September on Number 4’s 11th birthday, she played hooky from school and we went to the beach for the day. We talked about all sorts of stuff, but Number 4 is a funny kid. Funny in that her mind does not really work like most other 11 year-old minds.
We talked about her future, cause that’s what she wanted to talk about.
Number 4 has her life planned out.
The way she sees things going down, she plans to:
- Purchase her own car when she is sixteen.
- Go to a college that has a strong Division 1 swim team team (that produces Olympic qualifiers) as well as a strong special education program.
- Get a full scholarship (for both academics and athletics).
- Should she not get a full scholarship, she wants to earn enough money in the next seven years to pay for her education in full so she doesn’t have any loans to repay upon graduation.
- Get her BA in special education.
- Qualify and go to the Olympics.
- Get a job as a special education teacher once she retires from swimming.
- Purchase a condo when she graduates from college.
I know she’s only eleven, and I know things change, and I know her goals as a sixteen-year-old may be different from her eleven-year-old goals.
But I admire her spunk and her drive and her determination. And I wanna help her achieve whatever her goals are.
So we talked about what she could do now, at eleven years old, to make money.
She decided on babysitting, and on designing t-shirts. Since I have a t-shirt design business, I told her that any profits made from designs she produced would go directly to her.
She asked me if she wrote a letter if I would send it out to my friends to help her get babysitting jobs.
I told her I would.
She begged me to register her for the Red Cross babysitting course that is offered in town once or twice a year since she was finally old enough to take it this past November.
I did that.
And yesterday, unexpectedly, a mom contacted me and Number 4 landed her first official babysitting job.
She doesn’t know it yet. I’m gonna tell her when she gets home from school.
She is going to die from excitement. Like she may literally explode.
I have a lump in my throat just thinking about it. Because she has persisted and persisted and persisted.
And it is finally going to pay off.
After putting herself out there over and over and over again and not really getting anywhere, she did it.
This is such a lesson for her to learn about perseverance.
I am SO PROUD of her.
I told her I’d share her letter.
And I’m sharing it here for two reasons.
First, I just love it. For so many reasons.
And second, for my local friends with young kids, if you are looking for a smart, responsible, creative, proactive, fun, experienced, and ballsy kid to babysit or occupy your kids while you work from home and want to get some stuff done, if you have Christmas shopping to do and need a few hours to yourself, if you are looking for help over Christmas vacation, or if you need a babysitter for an early date night or just for a break, Number 4 would love to help you out.
As promised to her, here is her letter:
As you may or may not know, I am in desperate need of money.
AHAHAHAHAHAHA. Aren’t we all.
If only I had been this motivated when I was eleven.
If you are feeling dejected, if you are feeling like quitting, if you are feeling like you are busting your ass for nothing, I offer you this little story as a reminder.
Don’t give up.
Cause when you least expect it, when you work your butt off and when you stay the course, things will eventually go your way.