Growth Spurts: Lost Rings
My family and I were playing in the waves in Destin, Florida this summer when my eldest daughter Callie suddenly realized that the ring she had been wearing had fallen off her finger and into the water. We all stopped what we were doing and searched, as best we could, for the ring, but we knew that the chances of finding it were slim to none.
Did I mention that the ring she had been wearing was mine? It was a ring I had had for twenty years, but I had handed it down to Callie. She felt terrible for having lost it. But then I got to share a story with her. It was the story of the time when I was a teenager and lost my mother’s high school class ring…in a river. Strangely similar story, except that I actually (miraculously) found the class ring in the river. But then I managed to lose it somewhere completely different a few months later.
When I told Callie that I was going to write about our lost rings incidents in this month’s column, I asked her what my point would be in doing so. She immediately said, “Forgiveness. And not being wrapped up in material possessions.” Good answers.
It’s probably safe to say that most parents sit back and watch with a bit of a sense of satisfaction (and probably a smirk on their faces) when their children become parents themselves. Mmm-hmm. Not so easy, is it?, they must be thinking. And I totally agree. It is NOT easy.
I find that it helps, though, to remember what it’s like to be on the child/teenager side of the equation. I remember how completely awful I felt when I lost my mother’s ring. I didn’t do it on purpose, and I don’t think I lost it because I was being careless. It was just an accident. And my mother was gracious to me when I told her what happened. Likewise, Callie didn’t try to hide the fact that she lost my ring, and she didn’t try to make excuses. She simply told me what happened and sincerely apologized. I couldn’t be mad at her. And, truthfully, I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of the situation. It helped to be able to put myself in her position.
Do you remember being a child or teenager? Remember any difficulties you had in relating to or communicating with your parents? Remember whether you felt like you could open up to them or not–and why? Work hard to remember what it was like to be on that side of the relationship, because I suspect that it will help you in parenting your own children. It will probably help you appreciate and understand your parents, too.
Carrie Bevell Partridge is thankful for a tight-fitting wedding ring.