My parents split when I was four years old. Many of my earliest memories were of my mom and my dad separate. Being a single parent is never easy, but for my dad, he quite literally put in the miles- even when my mom wasn’t cooperative. My time with my dad growing up, was separated by 100 miles of driving distance to connect the two cities where mom and dad lived, and was usually separated by weekends. Her weekend, his weekend. I would see my father every other weekend- and rain or shine, and even when his beatup blue Toyota pickup wouldn’t quite make it- he’d borrow a car to make it to get me and my sister.
If you know my dad, you’d know that his favorite thing to do with me as a kid, other than drive around southern California for free history tours and to make deliveries with me in tow, was to take me to Kmart. Dad would usually pick me up, every other Friday and we’d hit the road up to LA county (before the traffic was as bad as it was now), and if I was good- we’d make a run to see the next “Blue Light Special.” Do you remember those? You’d hear an announcement over the PA system, that something was on special, and you’d dart across the store to see what was on special- denoted with a spinning blue alert light.
We also spent hours at the pinball machines at Kmart. Looking back, with the many gadgets, gizmos and the expensive iPads we give kids nowadays, I still relish in the simple fact that as a kid there were such simple and profound things that made us happy- time with my dad and a roll of quarters so we could do some shopping and play pinball at Kmart.
If you know me today as Frugal Beautiful- it was because of those early lessons from my dad. Joy doesn’t have to cost a lot, true joy is spent in simple things and time spent together. Really, it doesn’t matter what you spend on shoes, what matters is time spent as a family to allow a six year old girl to run down the aisles and pick out a brand new pair of sneakers with special shoelaces and glitter on the soles, because she did really good in school. What matters is the moments you invest your time in the ones you love, and when you’re smart with your money, you’re free to have more time to spend on your loved ones. I guess I didn’t realize it at the time, as a six year old girl who was just excited to go back to class with new kicks, but I was being taught about values I’d appreciate later.
Dad was a smart dude- teach a little girl about money, life and family values disguised as sparkly new sneakers and “Blue Light Specials.”
This Father’s Day, I’m getting dad something he can actually use…beyond your typical ties and dress socks! For a dad that loves music and has an appreciation for the classics, bringing that love of music alive with some gadgets make a great gift! This iHome wireless speaker and Koss Headphones are great and practical way to help him jam out!
For Father’s Day, get great deals at Kmart on apparel, shoes and everything else your dad will love. Learn more at Kmart.com/FathersDay.
*Winner will be chosen & notified by Tuesday, June 23rd. In order to be contacted, please register to comment with your email address, or a twitter handle so I can get in touch!
The winner is Kaylin! Kaylin, watch your email, I’ll be in touch!
I’m an ambassador for Kmart, through K-Club. Thoughts and opinions are my own!