A hard lesson learned for my 10yo daughter.

File May 09, 8 56 15 AMWe’re VERY big in our house about caring more about “experiences” rather than “things” or “stuff.” Our clothes range from Gap to Old Navy to Target to Walmart to thrift stores. Most of my 3yo’s clothes are her sister’s hand-me-downs. Most of Lily’s clothes are on sale Old Navy stuff and for that matter, same with my husband and me. We don’t drive fancy cars. We don’t splurge on extravagant gifts and I don’t buy fancy shoes or purses. Well…anymore. HAHAHA Yes, your priorities can change over time and I am glad mine did. We, as a family have agreed that creating memories and experiences are much more special than having the latest and greatest…whatever.

That being said. You know how sometimes you can walk into ANY store and your kid ALWAYS wants SOMETHING right?! When I was a kid, we didn’t have alot of money. My BFF Valerie and I made our own money. Lemonade stands. A neighborhood newspaper, yard sales…you name it, we sold it! Last Summer my husband and I helped our oldest daughter Lily with building a fun Lemonade Stand out of some old recycled wood pallets. Last month Lily held her first lemonade stand this season at our neighborhood Farmer’s Market. It was a hot day and she made some good money.

When we went to Epcot at Walt Disney World last year (experience), Lily saw this cute ring stand where a man was making engraved name rings. She wanted one so badly but umm yah, the cheapest one was $30 and I was like n to the o, no. Momma is NOT paying $30 for a kid’s ring. However, I told her if she saved her OWN money and still wanted it the next time we went back to Walt Disney World, she could get one.

At the beginning of May, I got invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration conference. It was one of the most AH-mazing trips ever. Before we left, Lily was so excited to tell me that after she gave 10% of her lemonade stand profits to our church and then put 10% away for saving and that she had enough money leftover to buy her the engraved name ring at Epcot. We got to WDW and hit up Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios, and finally Epcot. All she could talk about was getting that engraved Lily name ring. We found the stand in Mexico, she put in her order and voila, 15 minutes and $30 later, she had her Lily ring. She was SOOOOOO happy, she even had a little extra spring in her step.

On the last day of our trip, which was also Mother’s Day, the Disney Social Media Moms celebration conference had a beautiful Mother’s Day brunch for everyone at a special events location in Epcot. When we were heading back to Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club on the bus after the brunch, Lily realized she didn’t have her ring. She had washed her hands in the bathroom and took it off and put it on the sink. Why? Because I told her she shouldn’t shower with it, wear her new ring in the pool and that she should probably even take it off when she washes her hands. 🙁 She has super sensitive skin and pretty much any jewelry turns green on her or makes her break out in a rash. Sigh. She bawled the ENTIRE bus ride back to the hotel. When we got back to our room, she and I decided to schlep our tushies back to Epcot to see if we could recover the ring. The venue was closed and we couldn’t get in. We had to get on the road to head home so we couldn’t even hike it all the way to the front of the park to check lost and found. She started crying again and while she totally understood that it was “just a ring”, she was just SO disappointed that she didn’t even have it one full day and it was already gone. $30 wasted.

I called Disney’s Lost and Found the next day after we were home but no one had turned it in. I wish I had a better ending to share with you because we never did get her ring back. Disney couldn’t have been nicer and said they would keep my information in case anyone turned it in. Over two weeks later now and still nothing has turned up. I even have two friends who work for Disney and I know it would have been so easy to ask them to go back to Mexico in Epcot and buy her a new Lily engraved ring but I felt like even though I gave her the advice to take it off, she should have been responsible enough to put it back on. Ugh. Even as I type those words, I still feel a little sad for her because I know how excited she was to buy that ring with her own money. I know as parents we would love to prevent ever having our little people be sad, but I also feel it is important for them to learn life lessons. Sigh. What would you all have done?

But you know what, now that I think about it. She hasn’t mentioned that ring ONE single time since we’ve been home. Really. Not one. Maybe there IS something to that whole theory that experiences not things bring you happiness because she HAS asked me a million times when we leave for our next vacation. 🙂

XO Surviving Mommy

This week I’ve been co-hosting Caffeinated Radio with Kristen Gates on 94.9 The Bull in Atlanta, GA. Country superstar Dierks Bentley called in this morning to chat about his new album BLACK which is in stores this Friday May 27th. While we talked to Dierks, he weighed in and shared his thoughts on the Lily ring drama above. Take a listen HERE!

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