A life of crime?

Our eldest has committed his first crime. And then he lied about it, thus committing a second crime against us.

Friday he came barreling in from school, out of breath from running the last block, to show me the rock he found. He pulled it out of his pocket with great delight and a twinkle in his eye and held it proudly in the palm of his hand.

"Look what I found!"

"Wow, Luke, look at that. Where did you find it?

"I just found it." He was being extra silly and fidgety which was my first clue that something was up.

"I understand you found it - I'm just wondering where? I have never seen a rock like that around here." You see, the rock appeared to have nuggets of gold sprinkled throughout - it was dazzling and shimmery.

"Mom, I don't know, I just did." As he spun around and tried to change the subject.

"Okay, Luke, I am having a hard time believing that you found this rock around here. You need to tell me the truth."

Turning to James, who walked him home from school, "Dad, remember when I was walking behind you? That's when I found it."

"Where Luke? On the sidewalk?"

"Moooommm, I just found it." Then the lips start to quiver as the head drops. His spidey senses have kicked in and he knows I am onto him.

"Luke, I am going to give you one more opportunity to tell me the truth."

"Will I get in trouble?" And there it is. We have moved on to negotiating his punishment before he has even confessed.

James and I, at once, reaching the end of our patience, ask in unison "Where. Did. You. Get. The rock!"

"I accidentally took it from the science lab. I just put it in my pocket and forgot it was there."

Let me stop at this point to let everyone know that my father, Luke's Papa, is the Head Honcho of Safety and Security for our school district. And everyone at Luke's school knows that Luke is Capt. McGee's grandson. Nice.

So after a bit more discussion Luke is told that he cannot go to the pool that afternoon. The wailing and screaming commence and he is sent to his room where we hear him just as clearly as if he were standing in front of us. Then, he abruptly stops, opens the door, and with a clear voice says, "did you call me, mom?" No, Luke. And the wailing continues. I'd bet a gold rock there were no tears.

Later, Luke tells us that he had big plans for that rock. He was going to chip away at it until he got to the center because he was certain there was something really great inside. I suppose we could applaud the "life skill" (see yesterday's post) of curiosity but petty thievery and lying (creative as it might get) trump an inquisitive mind.

I think Luke's days of crime are over, however. He just doesn't have the stomach for it. He wrote a note of apology on Saturday and anguished all weekend over facing his teacher.

James walked him into his classroom this morning to make sure the rock was returned and to support Luke as he confessed. Luke first approached the assistant teacher and offered his confession, "I stole this rock and want to return it. I'm sorry." To which she responded, "Oh honey, you didn't steal it you just borrowed it." WHAT?! Really? Did she just say that? James bent down to quietly correct this and encouraged Luke to go speak with his lead teacher. Poor kid, had to repeat those painful words. His teacher acknowledged it was wrong then thanked him for returning the rock and told him that by doing so he was practicing the life skill of responsibility.

And that was that. I have to say, it was a totally cool rock.

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