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!).
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?]
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.