Thursday, June 24, 2010

Money Talks - Mine Says, "Goodbye!"

We all know the economy sucks right now.  What some people may not understand is how very, very much that sucks for parents of special needs kids.  Cutbacks in programs, downsizing at workplaces, government trying to NOT live in its means, us required to, equipment price hikes, repair price hikes, and less coverage due to the aforementioned cutbacks in programs... let's face it, it hurts!

This is not going to be political, but it is going to be a bit of a rant.  Well, maybe a little political because I believe our government is going the wrong direction to stop the crisis.  See, if I write more checks, it doesn't reduce my debt.  Maybe I'm thick, but I don't "get" how that works for government any differently than for me! 

Son 3 has been attending summer camp since he was only 6, starting with Courage Daycamps that the school paid for as ESY (Extended School Year) since they had no summer program themselves.  Well, the daycamp in our area was shut down due to lack of staff and extent of disabilities participating.  The physical disabilities just required more attention than the limited staff could supply, so this area was shut down.  Understandable, but suck-ish

The first year of no daycamp, we invented, "Camp Hotvedt", in which Mom was director and counselor.  We fished, cleaned fish, had campfires, tie-dyed t-shirts, made sand candles, window reflectors, went to the beach, built a solar oven from a pizza box (message if you want directions), and spent time enjoying the great outdoors.  It was great.  All the kids and I loved it, and we still do it every summer.

However, the 2nd year of no daycamp, we realized that son3 needed more time with his AAC device, and we enrolled him in AAC Camp at Camp Courage.  He had a blast!!  Ok, it cost $260, but it was well worth it (even though we kinda ate a lot of Ramen Noodles while he was gone).  A very worthwhile experience, and much needed.  Acceptance, pride in accomplishment, and a dvd of the camp play put on entirely with the kids' AAC's

Last summer, the campership covered everything, except application fee and gas to get him there.  Again, it was tight, but we made it.  Son 1 was going to college, and so there were several trips to Nebraska, as well.  All in all, again, very worthwhile.  We love Camp Courage, we love Doane College. 

This year, the campership covers $840 of the fee, but leaves me $360 to pay out of pocket.  I don't have it.  I'm trying to make arrangements, but honestly, with son1 having been home for over a year with no job, it's killing me.  We are going down.  I've been looking for a job, but they aren't there for the hours I'm available.  My dear hubby won't have me working when he's home, as we need to keep our relationship together, too, and we both are so involved with the kids and their issues and treatments, we barely get an hour awake together in the evening.  I'm also limited by the four-day schoolweek here.  I need to be here for the kids, well, one of us does, and let's face it, his earning potential is higher than mine at the moment.

It's driving me nuts.  Juggling the bills, paying out damn near $350/wk for groceries...everything costs more, which means every cent of disposable income we used to have is now invested in the every day items we need.  I haven't even bought light bulbs in over a month, because it would have to come out of the grocery money that is barely sufficient as is.  Add to that Minnesota's requirement that kids over the age of 16 be listed on your insurance whether they have permits or not, and OUCH!!  Sometimes, you just feel like giving up, surrendering the battle, and letting the creditors come. 

I'm sure camp will give us either time or a bigger campership.  But I know they're having a hard time, because donations are down because the economy sucks!!!  Every time I read a poll asking what the biggest problem facing the nation is, I want to scream.  Because the biggest problem facing ME, is the economy, stupid.  I also have to find a way to pay for repairs to the AAC which needs it's hard drive re-imaged...adjustments to the wheelchair...various therapies, and other things for the kids.  College fees, assistive technology, and then school clothes.  May God have mercy.

Postscripted update:  Camp is, indeed, giving us the full scholarship.  So that's one worry down.  Now to find gas & food on the road money...


  1. HUGS babe. It sucks big time. Then the debt just starts piling itself up and the problem only gets worse. You see your problem is that you and yours are descent people who only want the job to earn your own way, no handouts.Personally I don't see it getting better anytime soon, don't care what the morons on TV say. Its not better around here at all. Hope God has mercy enough for all of us.

  2. Sorry you're going through this. Times are tough right now. Two things that have helped me (sometimes) : God always provides and we've been in worse. I hope it gets better for you soon.

  3. Thanks. Exactly, Elise. I really don't want to hear one more story about "green shoots"...

    I know God never closes a door w/o opening another, it's just hell in the hallway. And that's where I'm living right now.