Class of Elite

I am slowly adjusting as my only child moves into the teen years. I’ve seen so many subtle changes in his size, personality, behavior and sense of style.  At times I sit and reminisce on the elementary school days when he used to rip holes across the knees of his khaki uniform slacks. I get a little sentimental thinking about the days when I would beg him to stop walking on his laces and to double knot his tennis shoes.  Those days seem to be lost as he now makes it a point to remind me of the latest teen trends, where I can get them, and the importance of these material items to his middle school life.


Being that he’s also an athlete, my child also loves to bring the next and new sporting attire to my attention. Everything from wristbands, under armor, face guards, catching gloves, running, football and basketball shoes have been brought to my attention at one point or another.  But the new constant is the Elite trend.  I’ve spent weekends looking down levels of bleacher seats onto basketball courts and football fields watching a variety of colored Elites run back and forth toward hoops and goals. 


So at this point you may be asking what are Elites?  Elites are a new installment of Nike brand socks.  They come in various colors, are thicker than the usual sport sock, are marked with R and L (right and left), and have 3 blocks running up the backside. 


These socks start off at $15 a pair.  “A PAIR!”  This was my outrageous and probably somewhat embarrassing response after asking an employee at a local sporting store. My husband followed up with, “Fifteen dollars! What do they do?”


I’m sure my son would have appreciated not being there for that parental moment.  He would have been so embarrassed.  But I just didn’t get it.  Why would anyone pay that amount of money for one pair of socks? Needless to say my son did not get a pair of the coveted socks that day.


After some thought, I realized that my child isn’t any different than his peers or even myself.  I have to admit that there were many times in my younger years that wanted over-priced fashion items.  Cross Colors and FUBU appeared on my Christmas list at least once.  Now as a parent I see things in a completely differently light. I’m appalled at the million dollars in SOCKS running down the court.  And my child was begging me to make it a million and fifteen dollars so the he can join the Elite. I couldn’t give in. I needed more motivation, more of a reason to break a twenty.  So, we came to an agreement, if he earned honor roll status I’d make him Elite.


We made a transition from the school year into summer.  And with true grace my child brought home an honor roll certificate.  So with the same amount of grace I’ll have to humble myself and purchase a pair.  But this time I’m going to walk into the sports shop not with a new perspective but with a better attitude.  In my life the socks serve a special purpose.  I’ve found a new motivation for spending my money.  If a pair of socks can encourage good grades then it’s worth every cent.  I’m extremely proud to make change out of a twenty so that my son can now join the class of Elite.


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