A 26-year-old single friend of mine from work said something that’s been nagging me for weeks. Here’s what she said:
Why don’t you take all that money you’re spending on skating, put it in an account, and give it to Ice Girl on her 18th birthday?
She went on to say that Ice Girl could make do with school-sponsored sports. Her glum expression would clear up, Single Friend promised, when I presented her with this nest egg at graduation.
It’s not like she’s going to the Olympics, so why spend all the money?
I imagine you’ve heard similar comments from friends and that you’ve lain awake at night wondering if figure skating is the right place to spend thousands of dollars in this uncertain economy. I’ve talked with Ice Dad, Ice Grandma, and Ice Girl about Single Friend’s comments. Here are our responses:
- From Ice Grandma: It’s clear Single Friend doesn’t have children. What parent could refuse a child an opportunity to enjoy a sport she so clearly loves?
- From Ice Dad: We’re paying for self-esteem and drive. Ice Girl is a different kid than she was just a year ago. She has goals and she is determined. And she’ll always have a life-long love of fitness and the sport.
- From me, Ice Mom: The Olympics is not the goal of every kid who has ever played high school basketball or swam in a pool. Yet, as communities, we support these programs with our tax dollars. Why? Because kids benefit. They learn to strive for something and they are active. Studies show that athletes do better in academics and later life.
- From Ice Girl: I wouldn’t want that pile of money. I want to skate. Now. Is there any walk-on freestyle ice tonight? Can you call my coach for an extra lesson? Watch me try out my axel. No, no. Watch me again. Hey, Mom, check this out…
That, in my opinion, is worth its weight in diamonds.