One of the great and impressive things that my parents did for me while growing up was their ability to keep our money situation secret. At times, things were very tight, but my parents never voiced that to me and never let it constrain me. If I wanted to do something like go skiing with friends or join a new activity group, my parents always found a way to allow me to do it. I’m fortunate to have parents that were willing to make immense sacrifices for me financially and personally—they will both have to continue working much longer than they originally intended. However, as my Mom put it, “ These sacrifices never really felt like sacrifices because we get so much joy from seeing you succeed and from seeing you smile.”
Playing travel hockey for seven years was very costly for my parents especially when they were trying to put my sister through school. Even with the immense financial strain that this caused my father still insisted on buying me top of the line hockey equipment. For my Dad this was very important to him because, “I always had to wait for one of my brothers to be done with his skates before I could play, so it was extremely important for me to supply you with the best of the best. To some it may have seemed irresponsible, but it was something I needed to do for myself as much as for you.” This largely made me feel a sense of entitlement rather than constraint, which allowed me to focus on myself and continue to act in a manner that would allow me to be successful. In a time of individualistic marriage, my parents real did put their own needs far behind that of my sister and I, which I think is becoming much less common these days.