Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Paycheck Liberation Day

Today is a day I've been dreaming of for nearly two years, since September 2007 when I wrote my first astonishingly large check to Benny's Dinosaur Preschool.

I am forever grateful to this amazing school. Those teachers have pretty much raised Benny during the week after I returned to newspaper work. This year it received 80 applications for a handful of spots for the 2009-2010 year. But it wasn't cheap. For two years, my first paycheck of each month has been the Dinosaur School paycheck. This year, the amount of that paycheck and the amount of monthly tuition has been eerily similar.

Until today.

Today I received my June 30 paycheck and clutched it to my chest, resisting the impulse to shout "Mine! All mine!" For last month's tuition payment was our last. Our security deposit will pay the July tuition and this August Benny starts attending public school.

I never thought we'd make it. Now I know how parents feel after they put a kid through college. (What I've paid the Dinosaur School would finance two years at a pretty nice college.) I spent $250 we really didn't have on a personalized tile for the school's new mural. The tile will include our names and the dates Benny attended. I wish we could put the total dollar amount there too.

So what will we do with the extra money? My plans are pretty dull. First we'll go on a short vacation in August to Mt. Lassen Volcanic Park. Then I'll buy Benny back to school stuff and go on a (controlled, I hope) spending spree. Then we'll plump up our savings. We also plan to move to a larger apartment next year.


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