The Annual Sporting Goods Visit
Getting there is easy. It’s what happens once you arrive that makes it memorable in so many ways.
The most obvious to parents, of course, is the checkout line. That’s the case with everyone who goes through this and while the numbers add up and aren’t a small sacrifice, the flip side is it’s a passing, yet important, moment.
It’s like the feeling a parent gets as their children get older. When they were younger, you wished they were older. When they get older, you wish they were younger. Both are understandable, both are the wrong approach. The more you wish for this or that, you’re daydreaming, and you’re missing out on the moment. So, like the checkout, just be happy to have the opportunity to be with them as they get older. That doesn’t mean spoil them, or be reckless. It just means be glad to have the chance.
That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
But that’s only part of the trip. The other is what happens before Mr. Checkout – the part that feels like you’re going to Kennywood with your kids. It borders on nuts, running from one department to another—“Hey guys, aren’t we here to just buy some baseball stuff?”—that results in everything from shooting street hockey pucks at each other, dribbling around anatomically perfect mannequins, or calling security to find kids hiding in pup tents.
Shades of the Clampetts hitting Hollywood.
The truth is that’s part of the experience and more than a little part of us enjoys it. When the kids go off like that, you not only feel their excitement, which is as real as it gets these days, but it sparks something in you, too. It reminds you of that same experience, and feeling, from years ago. Sure, the stores weren’t so fancy, the selection was a lot narrower and prices much different.
But it was special as a kid and you remember it. The price for kids to experience it today is more and it grinds at us. But, somehow, it’s worth the cost.