Last year every day after Kindergarten let out Regan and a group of her friends would play at the park across the street. It was a wonderful way to pass the time while we waited for all of the older siblings to get out of school. Regan’s friendships grew as did the birthday party invites and fun activities. It was the perfect time for Regan to bask in the sun and just play before the reality of Bubba’s care and needs became the priority. Towards to the end of the year a friend brought a special jump rope to the park and all of the girls wanted to play with it. They each took turns enjoying the jump rope. When it came time to leave we noticed that the owner of the special jump rope had already left. Regan asked if she could please bring the jump rope home to make sure it got back to the rightful owner. Regan brought the jump rope to the park several times and this friend was never there, before we knew it summer break had arrived. The jump rope spent the summer with us and like most things with little children it disappeared, as did our concern of getting it back to it’s owner.
One day last month Regan came home from school in tears. I asked her what was wrong and she went on to remind me of the jump rope from the year before. “Mom, they said I stole it!! I would never steal anything … I wanted to get it back to her. I don’t know where it is now. They were so mean to me.” My heart broke for her. We talked about how the girl that lost the jump rope must feel and that maybe the things she said weren’t out of anger but rather out of sadness for the loss of the jump rope. Regan disappeared and then I heard a noise coming from her room. There she was in the middle of her room pouring out everything from her little piggy bank. She looked up with her crumpled up dollars in her hands and said “Mommy, will you take me to the store to get her a new jump rope?”
I took Regan to the store and they of course did not have the original jump rope but there way many others to choose from. She had to pick the prettiest and most special jump rope out for this girl, you would have thought she was picking it out for herself. We left the store with the perfect jump rope and when we got home she tucked in her backpack to give to the girl at school.
The next day when she came home I asked her how it went and she told me how excited the girl was for the new jump rope. Regan was so proud of herself. It would have been easy for me to pay for the jump rope for her or try to make the situation better but this was something that she needed to do on her own. I can not even begin to describe in words how proud I am of my sweet little girl. These girls were being truly mean and hurtful to her and all she could think of was that she did not want to be thought of as a liar. Her integrity and reputation meant more than her hard earned dollars.