Week 15 - Hair and Money

Dear Baby,

My reading tells me that this week your body had finally begun to grow faster than your already-big head. You were looking less like an alien and more like a baby with each passing day. Hair was also the story of the week. Not only were you growing eyebrows now, you also had a wee bit of hair on your head, and a coating of the superfine hair, lanugo, covering most, if not all, of your body. For the most part, I am not a big fan of hair in any of its shapes and forms. I am incapable of maintaining a decent-looking haircut for more than a few days past each visit to the stylist; I have a disgusting amount of back hair, which is always trying to creep its way up the back of my neck; and I have a ridiculously persistent unibrow, which requires constant plucking. It is my hope that you will have a far easier time with your own hair than I’ve had with mine.

After your dad struggled through last week, your mom had a rough go of it this time around. Still looking for work, she’d spent many sleepless nights trying to figure a way out of our financial quandry. And it all came to a head this week, when she realized we might not be able to keep our house through October if we didn’t come up with a solution quickly. I did my best to be there for her, but financial problems scare me and depress me far easier than they do her, so keeping my chin up despite all of the information she was giving me was a tall order.

Money is another problem you’ll deal with throughout your life. And it’s best to remember that, no matter how much the society we live in tries to brainwash you into believing otherwise, money really isn’t everything. Your mother and I learned the hard way that taking jobs just for the paycheck didn’t do us any good. For two years in my case, and many more in your mother’s, we toiled away at jobs that broke our spirits and convinced us that we weren’t worth very much at all, despite the numbers on our paychecks. I lost my job last fall and your mother lost hers earlier this year. I quickly found my way into a position that, while it didn’t pay as much as my last job, gave me a sense of fulfillment I’d been missing for years. And your mother is on the verge of the same thing. I’m telling you all of this because I think it’s important to find work that doesn’t destroy you and, if you can, to find work that actually means something to you. Don’t go after the money, at least not all of the time. The less money you have, the harder the road seems at times, but in the long run your sanity, and your happiness, are worth far more than a few extra dollars in your pocket.

Love, Dad

LettersE. Christopher Clark