S is for Socks

My son wants socks that are $15 a pair! Not just any socks but Nike Elite socks. These socks are the “it” thing and it’s even better if you can wear them with Nike Elite shorts which start at $30. Being a New Balance family I’ve been able to dodge this bullet for a while, but I remember what it feels like to want a certain article of clothing and how good you can feeling wearing it. Only 4th grade and he’s already at that stage. It was 7th grade for me.

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I remember desperately wanting anything from The Limited and anything that was Forenza, Outback Red or Guess. It took a while but I vividly remember getting a pink button down Forenza shirt and tan cargo Forenza pants. I was in heaven. I had arrived. It was my favorite outfit and I was very strategic about when I wore it. I saved it for middle school dances or anytime I’d be hanging around boys. Eventually I was able to add a few more pieces to the repertoire and didn’t have to plan so carefully.

Santa brought a pair of Elite socks for our boy this Christmas: “the best Christmas ever“. He was pretty pumped. I love that it came from Santa so I can still be a mom who toes the line. There is something so traditional in that dance between wanting and getting. Parents and kids have negotiated this tug of war forever. It seems so unfair when you’re the kid but it’s hard on the grownup too: how long to hold out, when to give in, who’s paying?

There are so many factors to consider. It’s bitterly cold here and our son legitimately needed a new winter coat so I took him to Dick’s Clothing Store (land of Nike Elite). It happened that he also needed socks; how convenient. We found a coat – right size, right color, right price. We were about to leave when he sheepishly asked to look at the socks. I had pretended to forget, but his salesman father taught him to always ask for the order . “It’s ABC son. Always Be Closing.” My son didn’t forget to ask me for the order. His dad would be proud.

There was an endless display of Elite socks in all colors. He looked them over hopefully but knew the answer would be no. “Sorry son, I’m not paying $15 for a pair of socks, but I will buy you some socks before we leave, so try to find something else.” We found another aisle of socks with all the right brands. He selected a three pack of Nike socks in black for $16 and held them up to me. Perfect. “Mom, these are just like the Elite except without the squares up the back. I can wear these with pants and save the ones that Santa brought me for when I play basketball in my shorts.” Good thinking. You can’t have everything but with a little strategic planning you can make what you have work.  Mom would be proud.