Money! by Robin
The oddest thing happened this past weekend.
My senior dad was staying with us since his live-in aide went home.
It began with Friday night.
Seth had a baseball game, and Marc took him. My dad and I went to the diner for dinner. Nearly done with the meal, he suddenly realized he couldn’t find his car keys, and it turned into a frantic search. We turned the booth upside down. looked on the floor. In the bathroom. You name it. They were not to be found.
We then turned my car inside out, and still no trace.
Back home, we searched my garage, driveway, etc. No keys.
I drove back to the diner while my dad once again searched inside and alerted the entire staff (and probably some diners) to his dilimena. I was left circling the parking lot as I waited, since there was no place to park. The valet guys probably thought I was crazy.
Upset and frustrated, we returned home. Suddenly, it occurred to me to ask my dad if he had a hole in his pocket. I suggested he shake his pant leg to see if we heard any jangling. Sure enough, that’s exactly what had happened. They keys had fallen through to his lining, and they were floating around by his ankle.
It showed me that my dad is capable of misplacing something. I realize we all are, but I always found him to be very buttoned-up and detail-minded. But, perhaps with age, this is a newfound development. Although certainly it could happen to anyone.
Fast forward to Saturday night. Seth comes to Marc and I to share that he found a 100 dollar bill under his bed.
My initial response was disbelief. Can I see it? I asked. He didn’t want to show it to me, but then he did. I couldn’t imagine where this came from. Marc and I thought perhaps our cleaning woman had dropped it, though I knew she never cleaned with her waller or pocketbook nearby. So, that didn’t make sense.
Fast forward to Monday. My dad went into his wallet to pay me for some groceries I had purchased for him. He said he couldn’t find a 100 bill he had in his wallet.
Oh my G-d, I thought. Is that the 100 dollars Seth had found? How exactly did he get it?
I told my dad that Seth had a 100 bill, and we couldn’t understand where he had gotten it from. I took it from Seth’s wallet and gave it to him.
My dad swore he didn’t drop it from his wallet. That he hadn’t gone into his wallet except to take out a credit card, which is in another section.
Did this mean then that Seth invaded my dad’s wallet and took out the 100 dollars? And, why would he do that?
I was beside myself.
I was out for most of Monday when this surfaced, so Marc broached it with Seth Monday night. It was a hard, yet delicate discussion. Marc wasn’t quite sure how to handle it at first. He asked his mom for her opinion. And even consulted his brother who has three sons. Ultimately, he used the opportunity to share a very important lesson with Seth. How you should return something that isn’t yours, if you’re able. And, that certainly, you should never take money, without permission, from another person.
Seth said he didn’t take it from my father’s wallet. And, we didn’t want to accuse him of it with no proof.
So, for now, we believe him, though underneath it all, I have to admit, I’m not quite sure what to think.
I believe my dad when he says he didn’t drop it.
And, I’ve never before seen Seth take money. Of course there’s always a first. But, he’d have to know that’s not something you should do. Wouldn’t he? We try hard to instill in him a sense of responsibility. But, he is 7. Maybe he’s testing his limits?
I’m sad either way. I don’t want to think of my dad as becoming careless in his old age. And, I don’t want to think of Seth as untrustworthy.
I hope at least that Seth took away an important life lesson from it.