My Children’s Money

Black Tax. The bane of those who seem to have more money than their allegedly poorer relatives.

A ‘tax’ I do not plan on imposing on my children.

There’s this notion amongst many Black parents that we children owe them for raising us, and therefore, they will recall everything they ever did for you and tell you that you MUST give them what they want.

Emphasis on want, not need.

Except we never asked to be born. We didn’t have a choice. Our parents DID. Its not our fault they spent want they spent, and more importantly, God demands it of them. He made them stewards of HIs children, and their job was to raise us well.

Some parents are grateful. Some, entitled. As long time readers know, I am estranged from my parents and my maternal family except for one cousin. And it all boils down to… Well, everything about me.

Everything about me is wrong. I should not be modestly dressed. Too bad! I love my long clothes. I should not be eating plant based food. I should not be educating my children myself. And I should not have adopted.

In fact, had I not adopted, I’d have more money to give to my parents. Parents whose money is enough for them -perfectly adequate as the house was paid off long ago and we organized a pensioner’s payment plan for some household expenses. Had I not adopted, I’d not only be spending what I already spend on them, I’d be giving even MORE. Of course. No way I’d want to spend my money on..myself! Or on other REALLY poor people!

Too bad! That’s who we are. We got a bonus and had planned on giving it to a student but she refused it, saying she wanted God (not us, God’s hands) to take care of her fees. So, we found a different student who truly was desperate and had made an online appeal. A student we knew from a church we went to but didn’t know was in such dire straits. This is her final year. So yeah, if I had extra extra money, it would go to someone who actually needs it, not to luxuries for people who have enough.

The crack in my heart came a few years ago. We had sacrificed our money and our needs to buy my parents’ food so that they could treat themselves with their money. As we sat there after packing the grocery away, my mother doesn’t thank us, doesn’t ask how my back is after that shopping trip and drive, doesn’t acknowledge us taking time away from our family, instead she looks at me after receiving a whole lot of grocery and says,

“Hmm… My friend’s daughter took her for a massage at a spa.”

Forget that even I couldn’t afford a massage for myself. It was a crime that I was not paying for HER to get a massage. That stung. I should have cut my losses there and then and realised that I live to give, not to be loved. And that I want more for myself than to be used.

The grocery, personal care items and electricity still come from us.

But that’s it.

I’m not good enough to love so I no longer expect it. The tax took everything from my heart and replaced it with duty. “It’s your duty to take care of us even though we can take care of ourselves.“ And so, I perform out of duty. Hurts. But I can’t make someone love me

I will never do that to my children. Their money is their money. And if they do give me some, they sure will know how grateful I am.

Because I will be. Their gift is a bonus, not something for me to demand.

I didn’t have children in order to gain from them. I had them because I love to love. And I will enjoy loving them till the day I die.

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