Recently I finished a long day of school dehydrated and completely covered in my own sweat because my school is too cheap and in debt to fix our AC. The day was already in the high eighties to begin with, add in the fact that I do terrible in hot weather and you’ve got yourself one melting acne dotted high school girl. Honestly, anything over seventy is hot enough for me. Anyway, the point is, I was hot, tired and fed up. I was so fed up that when I got onto the bus that day I sat second seat to the front, hoping to catch a drift of air from the bus’s cooling system. Which had been conveniently placed directly in front of the bus driver. Me sitting second seat to the front is beyond bizarre. Frankly it is bizarre for anyone older than thirteen to be sitting anywhere in the front. My high school happens to be a place for many people. So not only does my school cater to teens in high school, but they also have many programs for gifted middle school students and elementary school kids who just can’t seem to keep their ‘genius’ to themselves. Because of that, after school, my bus takens home teens and little kids. From about seven to ten. In the bus, people usually organize themselves in little groups. Older students dominate the back area of the bus. Usually playing music at too loud level and talking endlessly about the school day. The kids usually stay in the front, and the middle has been designated an area for the less talkative, headphone wearing people. Specifically, this is where I sit.
Anyways, I’m doing the absolute impossible and sitting in the second seat to the front right behind a couple of elementary school girls. They were so small that I swear I could’ve stuffed one into my backpack and made off with her without anyway even knowing. Sitting behind them I could clearly make out bits and pieces of their conversation. Then again anyone in the whole first section of the bus could probably hear them because they talked so loud. And I mean, LOUD. Their voices were so high that I swear when they spoke all the dogs across the state would have perked up their ears swearing to themselves that they must’ve heard something.
Back to the point, I’m half listening in on their conversation, half listening to my music. Reminiscing when I was once an elementary student, until I see one of them, out of the corner of my eye, pull out a cellphone. Now I don’t really care if they have cellphones or not. But what bothered me was the quality of the phone. It was a (no lie) iphone 6+. I swear the phone was so big that it didn’t even fit into her hand. Here I am sitting in a bus full of students, music blasting, with my mouth hanging open in awe. What does the little girl do? She pulls out another phone. No lie a (at least) iphone 5 in a glitter blue and green case. I turn my music down enough to clearly make out what she has to say. Between the hollering kids in the back, music blasting from three different places in the bus and the girl’s sudden quietness I am make out a story. The girl was given the iphone 5 on her birthday sometime ago. The girl also asked for an increase of allowance and offered to do more work around the house. Then saved up to buy the iphone 6+.
“One of them I listen to my music, and the other one I play games on!”
Frankly this girl was really agitating me. I kept rolling my eyes involuntarily and gritting my teeth. I had to work hard to get my phone, but this little girl just rips off her father to get the latest gear. Then something intriguing caught my ear.
“I love, money! money, money, money!”
No lie she said this to her friends, and they all giggled in agreement. This brought me to an interesting question. Do kids really understand how money works and what money is? I mean this little girl just happens to snatch a twenty buck every week from her father after his long shifts and work everyday of the week. I think she understands the concept of money. I mean, money is everywhere! The girl undoubtedly, despite being eight (maybe ten?) years old, has exchanged currency for a product before. She gets how it works, a dollar bill is nothing compared to a twenty. An extra day of work means more money. Though this is a broken down, very simplified concept of how money works, the girl understands it. She knows how to get a good deal. But I don’t think she completely understands how powerful money truly is. She saved up to buy a brand new iphone 6+, while she could’ve gone out to a nice dinner with her family with that money. If you ask me, time with your family will forever be more important than something like a phone. She could’ve given it someone who needed it and we all know there are billions of people out there who could use just a little bit of extra cash in their pockets. This girl will one day understand the power of money. She’ll look back on her life, glitter clothes, rich parents and luxurious items to realize how selfish she was as a child.
You may ask yourself how do I know this? How can I make such sudden and slightly rude claims? Because it’s happened to me. I use to be oblivious to the work my parents went through. The difficult times were unknown to me. I was only given pure happiness and generosity beyond what I deserved. But now I am more then thankful for everything I have and I will never take anything for granted again. I can’t wait until this girl grows up, and sincerely thanks her parents for everything they have done because raising a child is never easy. But the love and thanks you receive from this child will make everything worth it.