For the last two weeks, my oldest daughter has been talking about Especially For Youth. She has never attended before, but this year her friends have spent many hours trying to convince her to go. Last summer we told her to wait until she was sixteen. Since money is always tight and our small community doesn't have many opportunities for teenagers to earn money, we knew she might only get one chance to go. This year she is going to be sixteen, but every time she brought it up, I put her off. I told her she needed to sit down with me and her dad so we could discuss whether it was actually a possibility.
I think EFY is a wonderful program and wish I had had the chance to go when I was her age. For me the issues were the same - money. It wasn't such a big deal though since hardly any of my friends went. Now it almost seems like something all the kids do.
We sat down one evening and discussed with her all the issues we were concernced about. First, there is drivers ed. She needs to take this course soon so she can get her license and possibly get a job in the city. That will set us back many hundred dollars. Then there is the EFY factor - several more hundred dollars. She has also been hinting that she needs a dancing kilt for her highland dance. I agree with her, but that is several more hundred.
That's when we get to the issue of righteous desires. All these things are good and will benefit her in the long run, so how do you decide where the little money you have goes? She offered to pay for all of EFY on her own, but I was concerned that she wouldn't be able to replace it, not having a job, and then what would she do the next time something came up?
In the end, her dad and I talked and agreed because she doesn't spend money lightly and almost never asks us for a single penny, we would pay half of the EFY costs. All three of us felt good about this decision, so last Friday I let her register. Let's just say she was a little excited. Actually, I've never seen her so hyper.
Then yesterday she came home from school and asked me if I remembered an assignment she'd been given in her computer class before Christmas to design a poster for Crimestoppers . I didn't. She went on to tell me the teacher had encouraged them to enter the finished poster in a contest the Crimestoppers association was having. So in class yesterday, the teacher received a phone call informing her that my daughter won the contest. The prize is $500. Almost exactly what it was going to cost to go to EFY.
Amazing how things come together when we have righteous desires. We'll still pay for half of the EFY, but guess who gets to pay for half of drivers ed.? It's a win-win situation for everyone. (Another bonus - the teacher told the class that if any of them happened to win, they would receive 100% on the project.) Can I just say what an awesome teenager she is and how proud I am of her? I love these moments!