For days after you question people, your husband, mother, father, pastor....did I handle that in the best possible way? Was I too hard, not hard enough, or did I scar him for life? Everyone looks at you with astonishment..Monkey did that, your Monkey?
Monkey is known to be the "good kid" of my four kiddos. (don't worry the kids have never heard him called the "good kid") He rarely ever gets in trouble and as the oldest takes it upon himself to be helpful. He is very loving and very kind towards everyone he encounters. Smart as a whip, and a silly laughing kid most of the time.
Monkey broke my heart, he stole money from his dad and I! I have never had an issue with him, stealing never really came up. We had the usual, "don't take anything that is not yours, because it is stealing and hurts" talk but I never worried that it would ever be an issue.
Last year Bubby stole something from a kid in school. Jerm and I talked to him, explained that it was stealing, and that stealing hurts. He was made to return the item, write letters of apology to the child, the child's parents, and his teacher plus lost privileges for a while. It never happened again. Lesson learned.
$80.00 and no explanation of why he took it. I found the money in his room while he was sleeping. He uses my phone charger to charge his Kindle sometimes, I went in there to get my charger before I went to bed. Walking out of the room I notice that the clear cup that he keeps his allowance in ( I don't know why he puts it in there) had a $20 bill in it.....that's odd he just spent his saved up money. I look more closely and realize that it's not one, but four $20 bills! I check my wallet, I am missing $80.00. I am not angry. I am confused, hurt and my heart is breaking!
I wake him up and ask him where did you get this money? Automatically his eyes start tearing up, and my heart breaks a little more. He doesn't answer, I stay calm and ask him again "where did you get this" he finally answers that he took it from my wallet. I try but can't stop it, I try with everything in my power but tears are building an I can't stop the one that escapes my defenses. I ask him do you know what you did, he knows, he admits that it was stealing. I explain to my oldest son that he hurt me, that now I don't know what to do. I explain that stealing rips away trust, it causes people to distrust you, that you are known as being dishonest.
I am hurt we have always had a very close relationship. He was my life vest through the raging turbulent seas of divorce, single parenting and every day insecurities. I had to survive all of that and raise my baby, he kept me pushing forward trying to be the best parent I could be. I didn't tell him this, but I was thinking it.
We talked. How the trust was now broken, that he would have to rebuild the trust between himself Jerm and I. We would have to work through this. How Jerm and I work hard for the money we use to pay bills and buy the things we need and want. How every moment we spend working to earn money is time we would rather have spent with our family. How sometimes one of us had to miss important family events and moments because we had to work. Every word that I say to him brings more tears from those bright blue eyes of his, and I can't help feeling that I am breaking my son's heart. I am his Mother I am supposed to be defending his heart. We talked for a little while, and I then told him he needed to get some sleep we would talk about the consequences of his actions in the morning.
Jerm and I discussed the situation the next morning (he was already in bed when I discovered the stolen money) We decided thatMonkey would of course lose privileges, but that the money he normally earned doing chores would not be awarded. He would work off the debt of $80.00 first ( I know that I found the money) we wanted to teach him how it felt to work and earn money taking time from things he enjoyed doing, but not have the pleasure of spending the money earned. We made a chart counting down the amount earned VS owed. Monkey also had to write a letter of apology, and tell us how he planned on earning our trust back.
It has been months since this incident, Monkey is still the great kid he was before this incident. I hope that he learned his lesson well, we haven't had any problems since. I still wonder if I was too harsh, or not harsh enough. I was reassured many times from family, friends and pastor that they thought we handled the situation correctly. Monkey has earned his allowance back. I worry that I hurt our relationship, I worry that I will see signs sometime down the road (haven't seen them yet) that I caused some kind of emotional scar, was I too hard on my baby? Did I break his heart? If I did, can I mend it?
One of my favorite (old) pictures of Monkey and I...love those chubby cheeks!
Being inspired once again by Mama Kat, and her pretty much world famous Writers Workshop! Tell us about something you broke!