the duke has a pair of converse and has needed better shoes for awhile. they really aren't winter shoes at all, and the holes starting in the sides didn't help.
anyhow, yesterday he went with the lord of the ring to big5 sporting goods because i saw they had a reasonable pair of winter boots on sale for 20 bucks. and i didn't tell him this, but 20 bucks was the best we could do right now so i was happy to find that sale.
they ended up coming home with a different pair and the duke was going on and on about how they were only 15 bucks! and weren't they cool and how warm his feet were and how comfortable they were and didn't they make him look taller.
and the thing that struck me is here's this kid, this "tween," and how the media portrays them and panders to them and how as parents we're supposed to just throw up our hands and say whattaya gonna do and give in to it. that it's developmentally appropriate for them to become voracious consumers and to go after the new the shiny the pretty and our job is to just supply the checkbook.
and here's the duke, wearing this pair of boots that aren't "cool" by any stretch of the imagination and aren't a brand anybody's even heard of and he's proud that he found them at the store and that they were even less than i thought they'd be.
and i was just so proud of him for not being that kid. the kid that has to have the big ticket item. he's the kid who is just happy with having the boots because now playing outside is going to be much more enjoyable AND "we won't have to buy me another pair of hiking boots for the spring."
i have a friend in a similar financial situation that we now find ourselves in. and regardless of finances she has ALWAYS shopped second hand. her kids have always looked adorable and have never minded. recently she was given a pair of nearly new $80 basket ball shoes in her 10 year old son's size. she thought he'd be thrilled because they were a popular brand, but he wasn't. he was disappointed and asking is there a way to get a new pair. he's getting into the thing of new and popular and brands. she is less than thrilled with this new development.
as parents we really do try and do our best. and sometimes it's really really hard. sometimes there's not enough time or energy or money or whatever and so our best can and does fall short of some perceived mark sometimes.
that in and of itself is hard enough WITHOUT the added pressure of a child's disappointment that our "best" doesn't even come close to their "acceptable."
i'm just glad that right now when everything is just a little harder than usual that i'm not dealing with disappointment on top of everything else.
i'm just glad that the duke can be and is happy with what he has, what we are able to provide for him.
because that's it right there. being happy with what you have, what you can afford to have.
because we are all blessed beyond belief, it's just remembering to remember that that we lose sight of.