We had a beautiful day today. We went to The Boys & Girls Club. Playing & swimming had been planned for home schooling families who live in our area and a neighboring city. Our day was filled with fun as well as challenging moments… challenging moments that were opportunities to be gracious and kind. Turns out I’m not the only one in our family who doesn’t do well in large groups, so when we do find ourselves in that environment things come up. It’s an amazing thing though when you can look at what is happening in front of you without feeling pressure to be a certain way or worry about what others may think of you or your kids. It’s amazing and freeing to be with your children in public yet feel as if you are in a loving bubble where you have the chance to stay calm, loving your kids through big ups and big downs.
Today was a day full of opportunities to be the best we could be as parents and it was truly beautiful.
We spent the last hour of our time at the club in the pool. Both our kids were super excited to go swimming. Lem, who turned 6 not too long ago, became quite a swimmer this past summer. She ~ seemingly ~ all of a sudden tossed her life jacket off one day and said “I’m ready!” and that was that. She hasn’t looked back since. This girl is a fantastic swimmer who has enormous love for and confidence in the water. It makes my heart shine when I watch her move through the water. Our son, who turned 2 not so long ago, has zero fear of the water. Once his life jacket is on, he walks straight into the pool. Full on. No fear. There is a small slide at the B&G Club which he will go down over and over and over again. Most of the time splashing under water, bobbing back up with a huge smile on his face. It’s incredible to see. He’s swimming along already, pushing our hands away if we even attempt to help him in any way.
After our glorious time in the pool came to an end my husband took our son to the dressing room to change, my daughter and I went off to our change room. We jumped into the shower and happily chatted while hot water fell on our backs warming up our bodies. With our towels wrapped around ourselves we strolled to the compartments that housed our change of clothes, bags and boots.
I helped my daughter dress and began to clothe myself. As I stood pulling up my pants I looked at my purse. “That doesn’t seem right…” I thought. I didn’t leave it open like that. Within a second the mother dressing close by to us said, “My wallet is gone”.
My heart sank.
I grabbed my purse; I began to look through desperately hoping my wallet was there. What about my phone?
I knew they were gone before I even looked but I tried to find them anyway.
My ID. My credit cards. My children’s health cards. Gone. Photos on my phone ~ gone. My mind immediately jumped to the videos I had taken last night of my husband pulling our children around in the laundry basket as they both laughed and said “weeeeeee”. My heart dropped as I thought of this person going through my photos, looking at my children’s faces, our home, our life.
We filed a police report then began calling to cancel my credit cards. She had already purchased almost $1000 worth of perfume, make-up and clothes by the time we called. My husband went to the nearby grocery store where another mothers card had already been used at. He wanted to see if my wallet had been dumped in a garbage bin close by. In his hot pursuit he actually spoke to the girl who had taken our things. He recognized her having seen her through the glass at the Club as we swam. His instincts told him to take note. They spoke briefly but she jumped in a cab, taking off into the night with bags and bags of things bought with my credit card.
I spoke with the police again after we had arrived home. The Constable was kind. We chatted about how cold the water is at the Boys & Girls Club; she takes her daughter there too. She gave me a lead on a salt-water pool that I will totally be checking out. She has hope that she’ll retrieve my things. She too saw this young woman after having been called to the mall because of a suspicious shopper who was using cards on “multiple taps”. Turns out when someone uses your credit card multiple times in a row the credit card company flags the purchases and the store owner alerts the police. My Constable friend said she is familiar with the suspect and will be out looking for her tonight.
I don’t know if I will get my things back or not. But what I do know is this…
When my daughter and I were talking about what happened tonight as we sat on our couch together she asked:
“Mama, are you still sad about your things?”
“No, babe… not really. I am sad for the girl who took my things though.”
“Well… what a sad life she must have. How sad her life must be to take from someone else. I don’t think she has a home with 2 children, a husband… cats, dogs, guinea pigs and a fish. I don’t think she has a loving home with a movie on the TV, where she sits next to her daughter on a warm comfy couch, cuddling and playing games. I’m sad for her.”
I had already forgiven this young woman while we drove home. I was upset thinking about her holding my wallet, my pictures and ID… I was upset that she had access to my online life, my family memories, the wallet I waited months and months to buy on sale… but I quickly let it go and forgave her. I felt sad for her. So I sent her love.
A beautiful day it still is, as my heart expands even more for this poor girl who takes from others. My heart expanded again as my husband and I walked up to the front door of our cozy home, our children safe in our arms. And again as we all made our way inside where a crazy bunch of animals eagerly awaiting our return.
I am grateful as I lay in bed typing this, my exhausted tiny little son snoring beside me, my magical daughter playing on her iPad next to me, my husband laying close working on his computer. All the while cats and dogs come and go for cuddles and scratches.
Today was a beautiful roller coaster ride. I am grateful for all of it.