Monday, April 14, 2008

Learning About Stealing the Hard Way

Early last week Jake went in the back yard to grab his scooter and helmet, just to play for a while out front after dinner. After a few minutes, he came back in, unable to find either item. I went out to try to help him find them, knowing that Jake is one of those kids who is blinded by the refrigerator light. It must be genetic because so is my husband. Okay, I thought a second set of eyes couldn't hurt. We checked the bike shed (we have one of those Rubber Maid, sliding-roof sheds), behind the garbage can, under the umbrella table. No luck. I questioned him as to the last time he had it, and he couldn't remember. We then searched in the front area, again with no luck.

You must know that we live in a town home community with lots of kids. Our cul-de-sac of town homes fills one regular school bus with elementary school children (minus mine, of course). That's not counting the additional middle schoolers and high schoolers that live on our street. Take that, times about 15 cul-de-sacs in our neighborhood, and that's a lot of kids!

You also must know that not everyone parents their children the same way my husband and I parent ours (imagine that!). There are children on our street who are out till all hours on school nights, some who are rude to non-related adults, some who vandalize community areas, and some who steal. This last attribute is the one that was of greatest importance to Jake and myself last week.

After a grand search, we created and put up (in the drizzling rain) the following posters -

We believe that it is possible that the scooter and helmet were accidentally left out front last weekend after a quick switch from skating to playing manhunt or some other make-believe boy game.

I had to explain to him that unfortunately not everyone respects other people's property, making it important that we put our things away when we are through with them so that those individuals aren't tempted by our nice things and do something they shouldn't. The hardest part for me was not running out and buying him another scooter and helmet. I originally thought that the small wheels on that type of scooter made them a bit dangerous, and told him that I would not buy him one and if he wanted a scooter like that, then he would have to spend his own money to purchase one. Well, he saved his birthday money and some allowance money and bought himself the red RAZOR scooter you see above. I was proud of him for saving his money for something that he wanted, and am now hurting that it was stolen from him.

Luckily, my mother-in-law bought him a nice skating helmet for the holidays, so he has another helmet to use when he rides his bike or skateboard (yes, my family all wear helmets when we do not have two feet on the ground). He hasn't yet said whether or not he will buy himself another scooter.

Unfortunately, Jake had to learn about stealing the hard way. Sometimes I hate natural consequences, but I'm sure he learned his lesson and will think twice before leaving anything out for those tempted individuals who were not taught the Golden Rule.

1 comment:

Mrs Hannigan said...

awww- poor Jakey. I'm pouting for him. I hope someone does the right thing and turns it in. Even if their mother has to drag them by the earlobe.