To the creators of the Clearance aisle:
I’m on to you. I know what you are doing. My parents were in retail. You take things that were already marked up way too high, and then you sell them for a little less. But you are still making a profit. It’s just that..well, I love those heart-shaped magnets. And they are only $3.00? A bargain! And I do need more Chapstick. And hand sanitizer. And pencils? I’m sure we’ll run out some day. And Kleenex doesn’t go bad, right? And I will wear this purple tank top next summer, for sure! For $5.00? You almost HAVE to buy it. But I’m not stupid. I just really needed all this stuff. Or I will. One day. It will all be worth it. I know it.
We all love to think we are getting something for nothing. As parents, we buy into it every day. Your child has to do this private lesson. She(he) is so talented. It will pay for itself one day. You need to put him/her on the higher level team. When he is a famous soccer/hockey/baseball player one day, he’ll thank you. Its an investment in her future. Besides, lets be honest, you are the only parent not doing it.
I’m not innocent in this. Sam has the agent in LA one day. He is good at what he does. I schlepped him to LA last Friday for a Nickelodeon audition his agent said he “had” to go to. $800 for a last minute flight. 30$ for a rental car. And guess who was there? 100 other kids whose agent said they had to go too. How many of these kids will make a successful living at this? 1? Or none?
In the meantime, he’s back in community theatre. With the friends he loves hanging out with, rehearsing only a few hours a day. Living the life of a 12 year old. Some people have said to me , “Sam is on a different level now. How does he go backwards?” That’s one way to look at it. Or you can say, he’s a kid. I know a lot of kids I grew up with wanted to be famous sports players, gymnasts, actors, news anchors, dancers and singers. How many made a career of these things? Not many (although one is currently dancing with the stars. Go Liz.)
But, in those days we didn’t push these activities at all costs. Now we do. How many of our kids will look back at these days and say, “I wish I would have had a childhood? Why did I give up so much for so little?”
I only know one person who gave of herself and who wanted no fame, fortune, or anything in return. My friend Audrey, everyone’s mom and friend, won the first ever posthumous Arizoni Award for Outstanding Contribution to AZ Theatre (it’s Arizonas version of a Tony Award). She wasn’t an actress, dancer or director. She was a cheerleader for everyone in AZ theatre. She wanted nothing for herself and she gave everyone something of herself. I was so proud to go on stage and hold her daughter Haley’s hand as she beautifully accepted the award on her mom’s behalf.
I hope I can teach my kids the lessons of Audrey. It’s not about who you become, as much as who you are to everyone else. Life is short. Live, love and play. That’s an investment in your future that will pay off.