"The thing" at elementary school right now is a glitter ball. "I'm the only one who doesn't have one." Little Mother complained over and over. "I can fix that." I replied. "Here are several jobs that need to be done and what I will pay for them."
Obsessed with her ticket to sparkly coolness, Little Mother worked with an admirable fervor for most of the day. Evening brought a trip to the store and many bounces to pick the perfect glitter ball that bounced just right.
The next day we traveled to Logan to visit cousins. "I HAVE to show them my glitter ball!" "Well, it's your choice, but I think you could lose it or leave it here. I'd leave it in the car."
On our way back home, the tears began. The precious glitter ball was left in the yard. We listened to over an hour of sadness and heart break.
Over a month later, at a family baptism, Little Mother was reunited with her glitter ball. She ran in the house, all smiles, to show me her treasure. So happy for her, I took a picture of their reunion.
Two minutes later, a sobbing girl ran into my arms. "I took out the garbage and held the glitter ball really tight. I tripped and my glitter ball rolled into the drain."
My heart broke as I held my devastated daughter. With ever fiber of my being I longed to run buy her a new glitter ball, one that was even better. The only thing I wanted more than to soothe her heart was to help her grow and learn from life's painful lessons. If I take away her consequence, her next experience will be much more painful.
"What are you going to do?" I asked, trying to give her back her power. "There is a number on the drain. Will you call them and see if they can open the drain?" She asked.
"I will help you figure out what to say when you call." I responded kindly.
She called. It was the weekend. Little Mother dropped all sorts of junk down the drain to hold the glitter ball in the corner so it would not get carried away by the water.
Monday . . . She called again. Of course, they refused. They must not understand the value of glitter balls. Hard rains came. Glitter ball floated down the holes and off to an unknown adventure. Popularity based on the glitter ball floated away with it.
Hard experience for the mom who would foolishly protect her daughter from life's lessons.