There Are Many Types of Wealth

 

My wife’s birthday is two days after Christmas.  Which is tough.  Nobody wants to celebrate a birthday two days after the big guy’s party.  So I usually have a surprise party for her, in June or February or something, so she can have a real birthday, like everybody else.  But I also have a birthday party for her on her birthday, of course.  So really, if you count them all up, she’s well over 100 years old now, and looks pretty good for her age, I think.

Anyway, we had a birthday party for her today, on her birthday, as we should.  Her three daughters snuck around and bought all the purses and shoes that she’d admired on shopping trips over the past year.  Which is A LOT of purses and shoes.  But I digress.  I decorated the house with cheap streamers from WalMart, we ate cake, and we sang Happy Birthday.  She blew out A LOT of candles, and her kids cheered, through the smoky haze.  It was lovely.

There are many types of wealth on this earth.  Money is one of them.  But so is this.  Devoting your life to the improvement of others.  With no hope of any possible repayment.  Now THAT is beautiful.  As you can see from the expression on her grown daughter’s face, as she blows out her birthday candles.  My wife raises her hands in victory, but not over the candles.  Well, that too.  But more importantly, over a life well-lived.  Over children well-raised.  Over a job well-done.  And those children, now adults, appreciate her sacrifice.  Well, for a moment.  Which is more than enough.  It was lovely.

Our daughter in the picture is leaving in a couple days to go visit her boyfriend.  Her sister has to get back to work next week.  And her other sister has to get back to college soon to resume volleyball workouts for her scholarship.  They all have a lot going on.  As they should.  That’s the whole point, of course.  They have a lot going on.

But their mother is their foundation.  The rock they stand on.  The rock which is so solid that they sometimes forget it is even there.  It just is.  It never occurs to them to doubt it.  That would be absurd.

It just is.

As it should be.

Of course.

My wife is only 6’1″. My oldest daughter is not so tragically short…

Providing a base so effortlessly solid for someone takes a lot of effort.  Effort which will never be recognized.  Which is ok, because you didn’t do it for recognition to begin with.

How many times did your daughters overcome an obstacle, as you cried yourself to sleep that night?  It doesn’t matter.  You’re the mother.  You’re the rock.  So you carry on, and you continue to take care of everyone.  Except yourself.  As you should.

You’re the rock.

You just are.

As you should be.

So you celebrate when you blow out your candles.  And your daughters smile.  For a moment.  And that’s all you need.

Because there are many types of wealth on this earth.

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  1. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    seeing this is so much better than reading the political crap.  Good choice Dr. B. 

    • #1
  2. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Beautiful.

    • #2
  3. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Doc, you and your writing are gifts to Ricochet. Thank you.

     

    • #3
  4. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Happy Birthday, Mrs. B!!! You deserve everything coming your way for a job well done. Great post, Doc. 

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    What an incredible tribute to your wife and your family! Congratulations to all!

    • #5
  6. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Happy birthday!  And well done.

    • #6
  7. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Dr. Bastiat: Because there are many types of wealth on this earth.

    Amen to that!  I, like you, consider myself very wealthy because of my family . . .

    • #7
  8. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Happy birthday, Mrs. B.

    • #9
  10. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    What a lovely tribute. That is what family should be all about.

    • #10
  11. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Wonderful post and a wonderful and wise perspective.

    It took me decades of study, various presumptuous shifting promulgations, and big dollops of life-induced humility to realize that happiness, purpose, and the meaning of life derive from gratitude. “No Duh!” as Aristotle might have said.

    Instead of climbing a mountain to meditate with monks (which admittedly was never going to happen) or articulating the manner in which the cardinal virtues function together to foster a state of affirmation (poseur alert!), all I ever had to do was to try to live a big “Thank You!” for the gift and the joys of loving and being loved.  It was always right in front of you, grasshopper, you moron.

    Happy Birthday, Mrs. Bastiat!!  

    • #11
  12. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Dr. Bastiat: My wife’s birthday is two days after Christmas.  Which is tough.  Nobody wants to celebrate a birthday two days after the big guy’s party.  So I usually have a surprise party for her, in June or February or something, so she can have a real birthday, like everybody else.  But I also have a birthday party for her on her birthday, of course.

    I’ve said it before, Doc, you are a genius.  Excellent post.

    • #12
  13. dajoho Member
    dajoho
    @dajoho

    Dr. Bastiat: But their mother is their foundation.  The rock they stand on.  The rock which is so solid that they sometimes forget it is even there.  It just is.  It never occurs to them to doubt it.  That would be absurd.

    It just is.  Most important job on the planet – well executed.  Happy Birthday Mrs. Bastiat.  

    • #13
  14. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Percival (View Comment):

    Happy birthday, Mrs. B.

    Oh yeah, I forgot . . . Happy Birthday!

    • #14
  15. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Doc, you and your writing are gifts to Ricochet. Thank you.

    Couldn’t have said it better. Sooooo true!

     

    • #15
  16. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Tell your wife that some dude named CDOR that lives in Kansas City wishes her a happy birthday. It’s as if she blew out one more candle on her cake. Plus she got some extra good wishes. It’s all because you wrote this nice piece about her special day and posted it on Ricochet. 

    • #16
  17. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    My brother’s birthday is 12/26.  I think my parents were wise from the start to celebrate his half birthday. Now he usually gets acknowledgement on both.

    • #17
  18. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    I am grateful that Mrs. B made children with Doctor Bastiat and improved the human gene pool.

    If anyone is feeling uncomfortable with all this happiness feel free to read about spiritual poverty.

    • #18
  19. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    cdor (View Comment):

    Tell your wife that some dude named CDOR that lives in Kansas City wishes her a happy birthday. It’s as if she blew out one more candle on her cake. Plus she got some extra good wishes. It’s all because you wrote this nice piece about her special day and posted it on Ricochet.

    I didn’t know you’re in KC!  I’ve got family in Overland Park.  I’ll reach out next time I’m visiting. 

    • #19
  20. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I am grateful that Mrs. B made children with Doctor Bastiat and improved the human gene pool.

    If anyone is feeling uncomfortable with all this happiness feel free to read about spiritual povert

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    I am grateful that Mrs. B made children with Doctor Bastiat and improved the human gene pool.

    If anyone is feeling uncomfortable with all this happiness feel free to read about spiritual poverty.

    and they are giants. 

    • #20
  21. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Happy birthday, Mrs. B!

    Great post, Doc.  All 100% accurate.  I see it in my wife’s actions, too – she’s the last one on the list that gets taken care of, in any given day, by her choice.  

     

    • #21
  22. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    Tell your wife that some dude named CDOR that lives in Kansas City wishes her a happy birthday. It’s as if she blew out one more candle on her cake. Plus she got some extra good wishes. It’s all because you wrote this nice piece about her special day and posted it on Ricochet.

    I didn’t know you’re in KC! I’ve got family in Overland Park. I’ll reach out next time I’m visiting.

    It would be great to meet you in person, Doc. I think they have a private message system here. Send me a note and I will give you my info and a secret code we can use to identify each other. 

    • #22
  23. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    cdor (View Comment):
    secret code we can use to identify each other

    Dr. Bastiat will be the guy surrounded by several giant beautiful women.

    • #23
  24. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I am grateful that Mrs. B made children with Doctor Bastiat and improved the human gene pool.

    Which is why we adopted.  The gene pool has enough stress going for it already.  Why add my DNA?  Hehe . . .

    • #24
  25. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Stad (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I am grateful that Mrs. B made children with Doctor Bastiat and improved the human gene pool.

    Which is why we adopted. The gene pool has enough stress going for it already. Why add my DNA? Hehe . . .

    I respect your decision. My DNA isn’t so great either so I have not reproduced.

    • #25
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