I took my kid for an introductory class at the little gym. It was filled with ladies wearing bright blue shirts, donning shiny, smily faces and singing songs with every day words in them as they clapped, blew bubbles and danced around like idiots. Ellie loved it. She loved the other little kids, she loved running around the gym equipment, she loved being praised for doing things well and she even didn’t mind sharing the big, red balls that were thrown around. (Giving them back was a different story). So, when we finished up and put our shoes on, I marched right up to the registration desk. And then swallowed my gum when they told me how much a year membership for class would cost.
Seriously? For you to blow bubbles at my kid and tell her she’s awesome? I do that for free at home. And then I watched her already playing with the other little girls in the class. Confidently walking up to people she had only met today. Smiling and waving and following directions. And I handed over my nearly maxed out credit card and said goodbye to ever climbing out of debt.
Driving home, sweating, thinking about how much money I just dropped, I remembered something my Mom used to say growing up.
My Mom was a single Mom. We were always tight for cash, but we never actually knew that. My Mom had an awesome way of making something out of nothing. No money for dinner? We had oreos and milk instead under the dining room table in our princess jasmine sleeping bags. And it was awesome. In the third grade I wanted more than anything to play the saxophone, but the flute was cheaper. I chose the flute at school, but when I got home, there was a saxophone case waiting for me in my room. My Mom always encouraged us to pursue what we loved, no matter the cost. “It’s just money,” she’d say. As in, it’s not the most important thing in the universe. We were. To her.
My Ellie girl came home, ate like a horse and fell asleep happy.
It’s just money.
She’s what’s important.