Living in a rich neighborhood

I’m a kid of a single mom that works very hard to make a living and support her family’s needs. We live in a rich neighborhood. The other kids at my school are richer than us and they have a lot of things we don’t. They can get a lot of stuff that they want. Sometimes I get jealous.

A boy in my class called me spoiled even though he is very rich and has a lot of stuff and has one of the biggest houses. I think he said that because he was jealous that I have a cell phone and an IPOD.

I think he thinks I just got them like that. I earned them with my own money. I saved up for them. I had to do things like take out the trash, go down to the dark basement to do the laundry, bring up bags, and bring out my neighbor’s trash. I worked for them. They weren’t just given to me.

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Ayla Costello is a pseudonym for an 11-year-old middle-school student.

4 Responses

  1. Cathy

    Kudos to you. Working for the things you want is great. I applaud you and your mom. Today, you are deciding what type of lifestyle you’ll have when you grow up. Continue to do well in school and you will have your choice of neighborhoods as an adult.

    Continue to help your mom and make sure your kids help you. Few things in life are free. Be grateful your mother is teaching you that now. As you go through life, always try to make her proud.

  2. malia

    Hi Ayla (pseudonym),
    Thanks for your post. I really empathized with your situation. I grew up in a suburb, too, and my dad kept getting laid off. We never knew how much money we’d have, so my family grew up looking for deals about everything. I remember my mom made us “Cabbage Patch Dolls” generic-look-alikes, using a head from the fabric store, instead of buying one new. The real dolls were really expensive, but EVERYONE I knew had one. At the time I was ashamed to show it to my friends, because then they’d know I didn’t have enough money for a “real” doll. Now I think my doll was much more special than theirs, because my mom took the time to make it for me. Because she involved me in the making of it, I learned how to sew– something not many of my friends, today, know how to do very well.

    You’re learning so much about how to manage your own money, to be resourceful, and stand on your own feet. Those are really important skills in getting what you want out of life, that kids who get their iPods and other fancy things just given to them don’t learn.

    I’m 34 now and am grateful I got all those lessons. Hang in there, you won’t be 11 forever!

  3. CP

    You are not alone, Ayla. My 11 year old son and my 13 year old daughter are in a similar situation. I took extra projects to obtain those same two tools for them; one has to in order to arrange schedules on the fly when one has to work several jobs to pay the rent.

    It may not be easier when you’re an adult, one can always hope for that. But right now you are learning what your wealthier peers may never learn. You are a survivor and a do-er! THAT is worth more than anything in a person’s life. Keep your most excellent sense of yourself as you go and grow. You are infinitely valuable.

    You just encouraged me about our species’ future.

  4. Marian Silva

    One of the greatest losses of living is classist society is not so much what we get or do not get financially but the family and moral values that simply do not matter in the face of classism. My mother moved to a rich neighborhood to raise money for her retirement but what she was not prepared for was the psychological warfare that she will have to face living and working in a racist, elitist neighborhood…after 15 years of wrking as a maid she has enough money to retire but the emotional and social stigmas of poverty are drilled in her in a way that she can’t see human values outside the realm of money. It seems like your mom is courageously facing these same issues and giving u a more balanced outlook on life.

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