My daughter already has a higher net worth than me.
She’s nine weeks away from being born, assuming she chooses to make her arrival at or around her March 14 due date, and her net worth is already thousands of dollars more than mine. She has a better wardrobe and her room is more robustly stocked (and honestly, it’s a mess; it’s time for her to clean it up.) If you want to get technical, the main reason for the discrepancy in net worth is her lack of graduate student debt. But it’s clear from the state of her messy room and our difficult-to-organize house that she has a lot.
She has a lot of clothes. Hats, onesies with bunnies and swans, dazzling dresses, sparkly shoes and her first Christmas outfits.
She has books. It started with Make Way for Ducklings, a book we bought while in Boston during our first year of marriage in 2012. We’ve since collected more, including a book Kendahl curated about our dog Kevin that I can’t wait to read to her.
She has supplies. A dope stroller? Check. Pack ‘n Play? Duh. Diapers? Open the floodgates. Car seat and base? You betcha. (Do I sound like a dad yet?)
She has all of this not simply because we’re intent on spoiling her, though we’re doing our very best. The overflow of her room, and our house in general, is a result of special people who have shown up in her life already in powerful ways.
Over the break Kendahl’s sisters threw us a shower in northern Michigan. Her parents graciously shared their beautiful home. Friends came from hours away, bearing many of the gifts that now stock her room. One of her sisters gave up the afternoon of her own birthday to share in the event. Our car was filled to the brim with these gifts, with bags of clothes and hand-me-downs from another sister, and with cards that encouraged us with phrases like “You will be the best parents for her.” Tears welled up in our eyes as we read encouraging and thoughtful notes from those dearest to us.
It’s in these moments when we realize our daughter’s true net worth will never be calculated, not by the glow of a fulfilled registry or hip baby outfits, nor further down the line in job prospects or retirement accounts. However, we see glimpse of it in a caring group of women, modern day Wise Women, who show us that they are firmly for our daughter. It is felt deeply in words of a Hallmark card that declares, and from that moment on, the world was filled with a little more sweetness and a little more love. It finds its fulfillment in the bottomless love that we have for her, and most of all in the love of a God who is knitting her together, even now, in her mother’s womb.
Matt Cambridge (’12) is a new dad to Chloe, husband to the beautiful Kendahl, and a human resources professional at Boeing. He lives in St. Louis and enjoys eating Hershey’s kisses, riding roller coasters, and watching the latest stand-up specials on Netflix. You can read more of his work at laughcrythink.com.