Life’s lessons occur in the strangest places and at the oddest times. So this one happened last Friday night. I was at our small village library with my children. We were in the same room together. They had some things stolen from them, while I talked to a friend.
This is not a blog about the dangers of libraries. You will not find a larger advocate of libraries and their benefits to children, adults and society. I guess it is a piece about another little bit of innocence lost. You know this occurs. You know some of the predictable ways and times this occurs. But when it occurs and you’re not prepared for it to happen, the sting is that much sharper. Luckily it was not worse.
The reality is things get taken anywhere: libraries, schools, hospitals, doctor’s offices, churches, etc. but, you feel you should be able to protect your children from everything and all things. The girls who stole from them were not very old, themselves…maybe 10 or 11? But it happened before my distracted eyes.
So when confronted, the girls denied it. I was told I should have scared them a little bit. I was told I could have pretended to call the police. I don’t think like that when something happens. I also hoped when I gave them a chance, they would kindly and quickly pass the toys over. I am too nice and naive. It was not about the toys so much at this point, but giving them all the chance to make things right.
So making this a learning opportunity for us, this event continued a conversation the girls and I were having about the conscience. I think my seven and a half year-old is at the prime age of when one forms, while the four year old is still too little. Our religious traditions and beliefs were also discussed around stealing. We talked about how sad it was that this occurred, but what was sadder was that the girls did it and did not seem to know any better. Sad to me was that pre-teen girls did not have an adult or parent with them on their visit to the library. What a learning experience and bonding opportunity the parent and the child are missing out on. What was the saddest part was that it had to happen at all….but I’m glad I could use it as one of those life lessons for my daughters and me.
(Note: A really nice site focused on life’s lessons found here on WordPress and that we follow is “Lifes Lessons – An Owners Guide“)