The Magpie

Contrary to popular belief, magpies actually don’t steal shiny things. My daughter, on the other hand, has a bit of a problem. On Thursday night I found out that she had been in my jewelry box. I also found that I was missing four rings – my engagement ring, the engagement ring my dad gave my mom and my mom handed down to me, a ring Jesse bought me when we first moved into this house, and a diamond band.

It was a rough night. I yelled a lot. I cried a lot. I emailed her teacher in a fit of desperation. I felt as if I was completely failing as a parent because this is not the first time we’ve had an issue with her and “Mom, I was tempted.” She has been told. And trying to explain to her that these weren’t just shiny things but shiny, valuable, meaningful things that didn’t belong to her just didn’t seem to sink in.

Friday at drop off, her teacher came out with one of the rings (it had been found by the gym teacher about a week earlier) and a joking suggestion that we buy a metal detector and make Violet scour the playground with it.

I liked the idea (but not the investment) so bright and early Saturday morning Violet went down to the local rental place with her dad, rented one out for the weekend, and headed over to the playground.

It’s a terrible picture, but it’s the only one I have. And it’s my engagement ring. And it’s found. Blurry picture or not, I’m thrilled. Violet maintains that they are the only two she took to school but we continued sweeping just to cover our bases (and try to drive the point home).

We’ve had no more luck as of yet and have reason to believe they are somewhere in or around the house. I’m scouring every single purse and trinket box and nook and cranny I think she may have stashed them in and praying. I’m also trying to remind myself that while they are sentimental and special and valuable things – they are still just things.

More than anything, I wonder what lessons (if any) we have managed to impart on Violet these last few days. We’ve talked about not taking other people’s things, and hurt, and trust, and personal responsibility. We explained that her paying for the metal detector and looking for the ring was a way to try and make it right. Violet’s biggest concern after we got back was whether she could ride her scooter. I don’t know if a single thing we’ve said or done has made a difference. I hope so. For now my jewelry box is hidden on a high shelf.

Parenting is hard and it’s confusing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Oh no! I saw the ring picture on Instagram but didn't realize the story behind it! I'm so glad you found two of the rings. I still remember sneaking little trinkets to school, though they were my own not my parents. I vividly remember taking one of my favorite polished rocks and losing it which finally taught me a lesson 🙁

  • I think trinket sneaking is a pretty common thing. I know I did it. I also know I loved to play with my grandmother's jewelry (though I always put it back in her jewelry box) so it's pretty hard to be TOO angry. I'm just hoping the other two rings turn up around home.