When's the last time you went shopping for children's clothing, specifically sports clothing?

I just spent nearly $300 at Sport Chalet so that my 9-year-old son could play baseball. And that's with a discount from his coach's company, which is helping to cover the costs.

Here's what $300 got me: pants, socks, belt, undershirt, cap, helmet, helmet guard, fielding glove, batting gloves, bat, cleats and an athletic supporter.

Now I don't mind getting my son stuff that he needs. It's just that by the time he plays baseball next year (if he plays baseball next year), I'll have to replace almost all of these items because he will have grown.

It makes me appreciate the fact that I can still wear the same shirt, socks, shoes and pants (give or take an inch) year after year. You see, there is something good about getting older.

BRIAN CROSBY, a Times Community News, North, columnist, is the author of "Smart Kids, Bad Schools and The $100,000 Teacher." He can be reached at brian-crosby.com.