My parents are by most people’s standards, “independently wealthy”. Our family had a family business when I was growing up – a pretty major quarry that made bricks, slabs, and all sorts of other architectural stone products. Many of the housing developments for the hundred or so miles around Oxford used the stone. I grew up knowing a world of hard work, dirt, limestone, and sweat. I spent every school and college summer working in the noise, dust, and grime.
The business sold when I was in my early twenties – my Dad and his siblings retired early, and the family scattered – everybody moved away. I moved away too, but that was because I met a girl.
I’ve never asked for money. Ever. I’m ridiculously independent – to a fault at times. I will always go without rather than spend money I don’t have. The stupid thing is, my parents are always willing to help if I give them the opportunity. A couple of years ago, the week before Christmas our TV died. I posted something along the lines of “oh crap” on Facebook, and the next morning an Amazon delivery truck arrived with a new TV – courtesy of my parents.
Growing up with hard working parents that scrimped and saved for things has probably defined me more than anything else. Sure, they have an easier life now, but I grew up knowing all about working long hours, putting up with horrible conditions, and just keeping going at things. It has served me well.
Early this evening I was worrying about money out-loud in the kitchen, when our youngest daughter overheard me (she was stealing something from the fridge behind me).
“You know, we don’t need pocket money”.
I stopped and smiled.
“No, it’s fine – I’m not worried about your pocket money”.