Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Saving for a Rainy Day...or Six!
My oldest daughter, Tana, reaches this milestone in her life in March. It's exciting! What fun it has been to watch her grow into a young lady. It's just went so darn fast.
All year I've wanted to do something special for her birthday. In fact, her best friend's mom visited with me last summer about taking a cruise with the girls. After considering the fun we would have, we had to decline. My husband and I just didn't feel we could afford it this year.
McFly, Tana's favorite band, announced a tour. I just kept watching their tour date announcements hoping that they would reveal a trip to the U.S. You see, they are a British band.
That announcement never came.
During a lunch date last weekend my husband and I were discussing Tana's upcoming birthday. I lamented that there were several McFly concert dates during the week of spring break and I wished we could afford to take her on a dream vacation. Actually, I'd even looked at flights out of curiosity and couldn't believe the great prices. Then my husband said some magical words:
"Well, if she wants to spend HER money on that...."
I never even considered this possibility.
Tana took her first full-time job last summer. She was a lifeguard, and a darn good one! In fact, on the grand opening day of our brand new aquatic park, Tana saved a child. And to her embarrassment, people actually cheered. Never did I hear her complain about going to work on those long, hot days.
But she hasn't spent a dime of those earnings. I'm not kidding...not a dime!
Really? What about clothes, shoes, music, new technology, fast food, movies, gas, jewelry, makeup, etc.?! Well, she has babysat a few times and got cash gifts here and there from grandparents. When she has needed a few dollars, this is the pot into which she dips.
But honestly, she just doesn't value those things. Apparently, the Kohl's and Penney's clothes that we bought her for school are good enough. The "un-smart" phone that she carries fits her needs. Her old iPod from a past Christmas still works. She only wears jewelry that's meaningful...not showy.
The fact of the matter is, she worked too hard all summer to blow it. Instead, she saved it for a rainy day.
Wow. How many of us could take a lesson from my teenage daughter?
When we got back to the house after our lunch date, we called Tana upstairs and laid it out: "If you want to go to London and see McFly over Spring Break with the money you earned last summer, your mom will take you. You have a decision to make."
Looking dazed, she went back downstairs.
Within the hour, she made her decision...and the flight tickets were purchased.
Not only is my daughter excited about going, but she's excited about going with me! She is practically bubbling over. As a matter of fact, we both are. You see, through her I've also learned to love the music of this band of young men. I would say they've been a huge bonding factor for us over the last several years. What a grand culmination of our mother/daughter relationship up to this point!
But, it isn't as much the band I will enjoy seeing as her face when she watches them. It will be comparable to going back in time and taking my mom to an Elvis concert. Amazing. She will always remember this trip.
As we searched the internet for interesting London attractions last night, we checked on the typical March weather for the area: Highs in the 50s. About 3 1/2 hours of sunshine per day.
In other words, bring a jacket...a waterproof one.
When Tana decided to save, she wasn't sure why she was saving. Was this money going to be used at college? Would she need it for an emergency one day? Or would she at some point have an amazing opportunity to buy something meaningful and expensive?
I'm so glad she saved for a rainy day...or six.