When our kids are young, Mother’s Day shopping gets a little tricky. We either have to front them the money for our own gift or be prepared to LOVE whatever gift they make, find or buy with their own meager allowances.  If we’re good moms, we accept what they give us because it comes from the heart.

Does something change if they become, let’s say, Kobe Bryant rich?

People seem to think so.  In case you haven’t heard, the NBA super star is in a bitter battle with his mom Pamela Bryant over a deal she made with an auction house. Kobe is trying to stop her from selling his collectible items including a signed All Star basketball, a Lakers Jacket, trophies etc., because he claims her only son gave the stuff to him, and he claims it still belongs to him. And the backstory goes a little deeper. It’s alleged that Kobe’s mom needs the $450,000 advance she’s received from the company to buy a new home.

A lot of people have asked “why doesn’t Kobe just buy his mom a new house”?

Reportedly, Kobe has been very generous with both his parents, in the past, but in his words, how much is enough?

Athletes from a young age are under a lot of pressure to take care of their families. Before they’re out of middle school, their parents hear comments like, “you’re going to be set for life once he goes pro.”

Many professional athletes have been diligent about making their family’s material dreams come true—sometimes to their own detriment.

Financial experts warn athletes about being overly generous. According to an article “Financial Advice for Pro Athletes,” on the  “My Dollar Plan” website, it’s okay to share the wealth with family members, but athletes should make sure it’s a gift of their choosing.  “You are not obligated to give in the future and that gifts are given on YOUR terms—not in response to your request.”

This may not be easy to accept when parents add up the cost of Little League, Pop Warner and time and gas spent going to and from games. I can attest that raising active kids is no joke and there are lots of sacrifices to be made.  But I do it because they’re my children whom I love dearly.  I want them to enjoy sports, get exercise, build character, and I don’t expect to be compensated for this any more than I do for helping them with their homework or fixing dinner.

In defense of Kobe’s mom, it seems like a lot more is going between them that includes in-law mama drama, jealousy and hurt feelings.

In looking at my boys today, I can’t imagine things between us going so wrong. I’m just bracing myself for a Mothers’s Day Gift that I know I will love, not because I asked for it, but because it’s coming from their hearts.

I hope that never changes.

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