A few weeks ago my high school swimmer came home and said, "My coach wants me to get the Arena suit. It's kind of expensive. Sorry." - Heavy sigh.
I just purchased a new suit for the IHSA State meet in November, and now she needed another new one? A more expensive one? Ugh. We went to the swim shop and it took her 30 minutes to put it on - yes it's that confining. It took a lot less time to hand over my credit card and be $500 lighter. My friends think that's an insane amount of money to spend on a simple swimsuit. However, all my sport-parent friends think it's completely logical.
The plan was to have it last two meets. That was the plan. We all know what happens to the best laid plans...
After her first two less-than-stelar swims she met me in the hallway and said, "I don't really like the new suit. I'm not comfortable at all." I'm pretty sure that's what she said, but in my mind all I heard was, This suit sucks and you just wasted all that f'ing money. Not only did you waste it, but you just paid for me to do worse, which, since I'm a junior and every time counts toward an athletic scholarship, you just paid a shit-load of money on a piece of fabric that made me swim like crap. Thanks mom. It's all your fault. Now I'm not going to college.
I fixed it with one question, "Do you want me to buy you a different suit?"
$300 lighter, I mean later, and there were big smiles and excitement all around. Going back to our original suit seemed to be the ticket. She went on to swim four more great times and the weekend ended on a high note.
When I told this story to a friend of mine, she really let me have it, "Are you nuts? You essentially paid $800 for swimsuits for your kid to swim for a total of 5 minutes. (yes, I do believe I am nuts) What are you teaching her? (hmm, maybe that money buys happiness?) Do you really think you did the right thing? (um, probably not in the long run, but in the short term, it was fabulous)
Right before I purchased the second suit, I was sitting by other swim parents and they were talking about the various sports their children participated in and the costs of it all. When the discussion regarding hockey and figure skating came up and the mass amounts of money spent, a $300 extra swimsuit didn't seem too bad.
To make myself feel better, I think I'm only going to hang out with ice parents. They seem to be just a hair more insane. Like everything in life, it's all about perspective.
Well from my perspective, I only have a year and a half to spend with my oldest before she's off to college and I am painfully aware that these weekends away at swim meets together are numbered. If I can give her three days of great memories instead of an experience clouded by poor performance, then I'm going to do it. I never claimed to be mother of the year, but for a few minutes, in her eyes, I really was. Does that mean money can buy happiness? I prefer to think of it as the thought and love behind the purchase that provided the happiness.
Who am I kidding. It was the money.
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