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Brad and Angelina’s new home for the kids

Brad and Angelina's new home for the kidsThe cover of this week’s Life & Style Weekly magazine features Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and their six (and counting) children. The headline reads: “New home for the kids”.

This refers to the family’s new home in Lloyd Neck, NY, a tiny hamlet on Long Island. The home, called Sassafrass, is an English Tudor style 22,000 square foot house that’s worth $60 million.

The estate includes 48 acres with horse stables, two helicopter landing pads, woods with hiking paths, a formal garden to play in and its own barber shop. The house has eight bedrooms and 12 bathrooms. The guest house has six bedrooms and there is a house for staff, such as nannies and housekeepers, with 11 bedrooms.

The area looks quaint, with many nice parks and playgrounds as well as a cute town with nice little shops.

I understand that a couple in the limelight like Brad and Angelina need their privacy but certainly this can be obtained on fewer than 48 acres and with fewer than 22,000 square feet. The pair claims that the new home is “for the kids”. That’s great but I really don’t think that a large home is what children need in order to be happy. As long as a place feels like home; as long as it is where children feel safe, cared for and loved, they will thrive.

When I was a kid, we lived in a small house in Shorewood, Illinois for about five years. I remember this house fairly well. I didn’t think of it as being small or largeā€¦it was my home, which I shared with my family, ate my meals, slept at night and shared a bedroom with my two sisters. Several years ago, my sister returned to our former little cottage. She told me she couldn’t believe that we had lived there as kids; it was a tiny shack.

Sure, maybe the place got run down and even abandoned over the years, but she couldn’t get over how tiny it was. This hadn’t mattered to us when we lived there. I don’t even remember comparing the house to others.

Kids can be happy as long as they have a stable, loving home, be it an apartment in the city or house in the country. Pax, Maddox, Zahara, Shiloh and the baby twins could certainly be just as happy in a more modest home. It kind of makes me ill, thinking about their lavish lives in contrast to the many families facing foreclosures in our country right now. I just count myself and my family lucky to have a home, whatever the size.

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