Giving Back, Kids and Money

On Parenting: What’s Lost is Gifted (The Joy of Giving)

My daughter, Ruby, received a decorative bracelet at a holiday party recently. The next day, she wore the bracelet out as she accompanied my husband and I running errands. When we got back in the car after the first errand stop, Ruby asked where was her bracelet.

Instantly, I felt my heart dropped for a second there. I knew how much she liked that bracelet. When I looked over at her, she was trying very hard to hold back her tears (with such sad expression on her face!).

parenting and giving preschool

I was quick coming up with a story attempting to comfort her. I said to her:

Ruby, I understand that you’re feel very sad and perhaps a little frustrated that you lost your bracelet; but guess what, another child’s going to pick up that bracelet and he/she’s going to be very excited and happy to have found such a beautiful treasure! You see, it’s unfortunate that you lost your bracelet, but because of that, you were given a chance to make another child happy. And having a chance to bring a big smile on somebody’s face is very rewarding; another child is smiling because of you! For this, mama and baba are very proud of you.”

“Oh, okay”, said Ruby.

Then, upon arrival at our second stop (as we were getting our coats and bag to get off the car), I noticed Ruby’s bracelet laying in between her and mine coats. Ruby was very happy to have her bracelet on her wrist again. She was all smiling.

I cautioned her to take very good care of it while we’re inside the store. “Okay, I got it”, she said in response.

While inside HomeGoods, getting ready to enter the checkout line, I noticed the bracelet was missing from Ruby’s wrist.

“Ruby, where’s your bracelet?”, I asked.

She gestured me to follow her back to the isle where I was shopping for plates. And she pointed me to the bracelet.

“Ruby, you were being careless and forgetful,” I commented, further instructing her to pick up her bracelet and put it back on.

While in the checkout line, Ruby said to me, “Mama, I want to leave this bracelet for another child so that she can be happy.”

At that moment, it occurred to me that she purposely left the bracelet on the plates isle for another child to pick it up!

Suddenly, my heart warmed and I felt emotional. I held her tight and told her, “You make mama and baba very proud”. I’m very blessed to have such a beautiful and kind-hearted daughter.

I took her out of the checkout line, and asked her where she’d like to lay the bracelet. She decided to put it in the sink of the mini kitchen set. When that was done, I kissed her on the forehead reminding her I love her.

[Maybe she made it to Santa’s ‘Good List’ this year?]

ms financial literacy

ms financial literacy

That was not the end of this story…

That same night, as we were getting Ruby for bed, Ruby started crying. My husband couldn’t figure out why, and Ruby was too involved in her crying. After sometime passed, I asked her to speak to me.

Here was what Ruby said,

I’m feeling very sad cuz I don’t have my bracelet. Mama, can we please go back to the store and get my bracelet?” It was around 10 p.m.

“Ruby, it’s 10 p.m. The store is closed. Even if we would to go back there tomorrow, the bracelet might be gone”.

I continued on and reminded her, “I thought you wanted to leave the bracelet in the store so that another child can pick it up and have a big smiley face. No? That child would be like…Horray! I found a bracelet! And starts jumping up and down, all excited…all because of your generous gesture”.

“Oh, okay. I understand now”, said Ruby, while still sniffling from her cries.

I got her to lay down on her bed, meanwhile caressing her head and giving her little kisses on her forehead. She was breathing heavy for few minutes, and then felt asleep.

That night happened about two weeks ago. To this date, Ruby still remembers about the happiness she can bring to another child, by her “accidentally losing” her belongs while out and about. Just yesterday, as we were shopping at Costco, she brought a sticker in with her. That sticker was not with her when we got back in the car.

“Ruby, where’s your floral sticker”? I asked.

And she replied excitedly (and in such assuring manner), “It’s okay, mama; another child is going to be happy when she finds the sticker”. She gave me one of her biggest and goofiest smiles.

I love you, Ruby. Thank you for reminding me the joy of abundance and giving.

When Ruby is older, my husband and I will have to work on teaching her about valuing one’s belongings. Even when one has a very generous heart, one cannot just keeping giving all the time. For now, we’re simply just savor these moments.

Spread the message. Encourage others to begin their financial learning!


  • Reply


    December 25, 2017

    You are such a amazing mother. I too would have been soothed by your whit, had I lost something that I treasured. Regarding the future conversation about valuing ones possessions, my thoughts are about including this truth, Nothing is ever lost, in God’s universe, or just the Universe, if you prefer not to involve God. It is still true. I affirm this truth to myself whenever I have misplaced or thought I’ve lost something. It soothes me immediately, it is an affirmation my mother used, and taught to me. I can not begin to tell you how many times the “lost” appeared, maybe months later, maybe minutes. The point being, it helped me let go of the attachment to the “lost thing”. Trusting that all was is harmony and in order, was a huge shift for me and for my peace of mind, I could let go of any feelings I had and most importantly, let go of any guilt or shame for myself, for having been so absentminded. It’s really all about letting go of any self condemnation for what has occurred, for what we feel and the inevitable story we make up about who we are because of the circumstances we find ourselves in. If there can be a truth, held onto, like the one my mom gave to me, it can alleviate all the false and limiting stories we have a tendency to create about who we are. And …… Those stories we tell ourselves in our formative years, can last a lifetime without ever realizing that we just made them up! They aren’t true, they are just stories we make up in our sad times, with our feelings, and they basically create a box filled with judgments, for us to live our lives into. The fewer judgements we have on ourselves, the more we can create greater possibilities for ourselves.
    I love the gift you gave her for the possibility of another’s good fortune. There’s something else at play here that I don’t want to overlook. I don’t know how to translate it without using God as in a divine order to all things, but you will be able to do that, easily enough. It’s really more like, this is…… The way….. It is….. Supposed to be! For everybody’s growth. The loss, teaches. The gift treasured and lost, teaches. The resolution that the young mind will find, also teaches. The feeling of pain for loss, teaches. All of us are learning, how to feel just a little bit better, how to soothe one another, how to be grateful, in the face of feeling and dealing with losses. It is not in the perfect moments of life, that we have our transformations. It’s in the messy, uncomfortable, even emotionally painful moment that our greatest growth occurs.
    A beautiful moment of awakening to the heart I us all. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your daughter’s heart with us.

    • Reply


      January 5, 2018

      Jolie, thank you for your beautiful comment. I loved reading your thoughts on loss and significance and can truly appreciate your insights on this matter.

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