As many of you know, I was recently at the U.S. Open. It’s a yearly thing where I meet up with some of the people I met while at tennis camp. We all catch up on what’s happened in the last year. Where the kids are in school now, how much we’re playing recreationally and what the current injury situation is (let’s face it, if you’ve played tennis for a few years, you usually have a few aches.)
At the Open, they tend to hand out things. Lots of things. Over the years, they’ve distributed fans, water misters, radios, cookies, posters, and other items.
It was not enough for me to get just one of these trinkets. I’d always pick up 6 of everything – one for each kid – and usually some extras on top of that (just in case.) This of course, meant that I spent much of the U.S. Open lugging around a large bag of *stuff.* It was okay, though, it made *me* feel better about leaving the flock behind.
But times have changed. I’ve realized that I was bringing home all of these souvenirs in an effort to share my experience with everyone else and there are better ways to do that than bringing home half a dozen samples of chocolate covered cookies (even if they are delicious.)
This year, I didn’t get any samples, I bought nothing home for the kids except for stories.
I told them that I saw the number one (1!!!) men’s player in the world play tennis.
Were my kids upset that I didn’t bring them anything? Not at all. No one pouted, no one cried, and no one said I was a bad mama hen. “We usually just threw them out anyway, mom” they told me. Instead, they listened to my stories. They asked questions and when I was done they said, “Sounds like you had a great time, Mom, glad you could go.”
Living tiny means realizing that many souvenirs you bring home are actually for *you* more than they are for others.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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