A little background. We have three children. We decided when our oldest was in high school that rather than gift her with something that would likely be forgotten, we would take her on a family graduation trip. (Remember that those were the days when our financial heads were buried way deep in the sand.) It's a tradition we've carried on with our boys. Each graduate chose the destination and off we went to make memories.
Now it's time for DS3 to take his trip. He asked to go to New York City and see a couple Broadway shows. So that's what we're doing. Because he is in a wheelchair and the logistics are more complicated (like the fact that not all NYC subway stations are wheelchair accessible), we are staying smack in the center of Times Square. And, yes, that means even more expensive. As a disclaimer, we've already saved the cash to pay for the hotel. And we've already bought the show tickets in cash (Phantom and Wicked). We hope to have food and gas money covered by the time the trip rolls around at the end of this month.
Should we be doing this? No way. We have no business spending this kind of money when we have that kind of debt. So why are we?
Because sometimes the memories are worth the price we pay. My older two kids, if you ask, will cheerfully bore you with a blow-by-blow recap of their graduation trips. They remember every detail and they love to relive the fun we had. They'll pull out the scrapbook and make you look at every last photo. For each, it was the last true family vacation of their childhood and one they'll never forget.
But this trip is even more important to us. DS3 has already outlived his life expectancy by five months. From here on out, it's borrowed time. And if my theater-loving boy who has worked harder than anyone I know to get to this point wants to see a show, then by golly that's what's going to happen.
This is one of those times when we are going against everything we know is right so that we can do the right thing.
Because times like this only come once in a lifetime. And you can't put a price on that.