Monday, August 17, 2009

Tragedy in Suburbia

Ethan wanted to earn some extra money. He quickly realized that 'earning' money by doing extra work was going to be impossible since he can't even quite finish the chores he doesn't get paid for. So like all smart kids, he decided to try to sell some of his junk in his own private yard sale while hardly lifting a finger.
He chose some nice toys that I quickly made him return to his room, but gladly let him try to sell his baggie of Lake Powell sea shells, a set of Uno cards so tiny a mouse could use them and a squirt gun that doesn't work.

I watched lots of seasons of The Apprentice so I felt very competent in helping him set his prices and think of ways to attract customers....
Like having a cute girl dance curbside in cowboy boots.

Sadly, or luckily for all the moms in the 'hood, this wasn't a day for a lot of foot traffic and I didn't let him go door to door to peddle. We left his stuff outside while he came in for food and play. Awhile later he checked on his goods only to run inside and say, "Mom, Mom! Somebody bought some stuff!" He was very excited but then he said, "They just forgot to leave their money!" Sure enough, his water gun and the Uno cards were missing. The worst thing was that he was also missing a hidden baggy of change. He'd put it under the picnic table in case he had to make change for a large bill (his optimism was so sweet). I honestly didn't mind someone taking a couple toys we didn't really want but to steal Ethan's actual money was a whole 'nother ballgame.
Ethan was sad. But Isaac and I were mad. Isaac made some comments about catching who did it and punching him in the head (violence is often a great solution for a 9-year-old boy). I tried to think of ways it could not be stolen, but for three items to be missing at once was a little too coincidental.
Later I actually saw the stolen water gun in the front yard of a home while going on a walk with Syd. Hub gladly did the dirty work of knocking on the door as soon as he also saw one of the puny Uno cards on their porch (not the best criminal eh?) and we got an apology and an assurance to try to scrounge up the missing money.
The moral of the story is that I love to live in la-la land. Hub is always trying to get me to lock the car, not leave my purse in the car, lock the house, etc... I just don't like to think that anyone would like to commit a crime in my vicinity. And a kid stealing money left unattended in my front yard doesn't have to mean I live in the ghetto. But maybe it means that we don't have to unnecessarily tempt people who haven't yet mastered right and wrong.
This thief was old enough to know better, but he was still a kid. I'll get over my anger and am showing my willingness to forgive by not telling Isaac who it was. I don't want anyone to get punched in the head in my neighborhood.


stephanie said...

wow! we both have experienced neighborhood theft. No fun! Glad you found the stinkers

cold cocoa said...

But you can tell me, right? Then I can go give the punk dirty looks.

How about Ethan come over and clean our storage room and I'll pay him? I'm sure he's not scared of spiders.

And I didn't know you could get seashells in Utah. So we went all the way to Seattle for something home-grown? Upsetting.

Lady Di said...

tell ethan i feel his pain. all my toll money, gone! i need leon to give me some tips on confrontation in case i ever find the perpetrator. head punching isn't quite my style--but i love isaac's loyalty!

big8smiley said...

Oh my gosh, that is so sad!!! He was all ready to learn the lesson of business and instead learned the lesson of being taken advantage of. Gosh, that makes me so mad! So, last year on Halloween we had some kid come and steal all the candy on the porch we left out for kids. We were gone all of about 10 minutes and came back to check on the candy and it was gone. We pretty much knew the culprit as well because we saw who had been down our street. NOT COOL! I hope Ethan finds another great way to make a little extra money. He is very creative!

hOLLIANN said...

What a stinker! I can't believe that happened. Tell Ethan we are sorry. btw - told reg to call hub (yours) to set up the bbq, since clearly we did the hefty leg work on the whole thing...he said he would... I won't hold my breath :).

The Peacock Family said...

Oh come one tell us who it was!!!LOL. That is absolutely terrible that someone would steal from a neighbors yard. What is up with that. What a sad story.

LC said...

What entrepeneurial spirit! (50 pts. for me if I spelled that right).
I too am surprised to learn there are shells in UT. I can't really think they're authentic unless they smell like the ones in Isabelle's room.