Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I must begin this post with a tale of a very selfish person, and that person is me. Today we visited Sgt. Pepper's aunt's extremely high-end jewelry shop. Now, Hedgehog is very interested in gems, she has a thick book of gems at home that she avidly studies, and so she loved the shop. She got to see a watermelon tourmaline, which she had only before read about, and was sweetly excited about that. But the longer we stayed in the shop visiting, the more closely she began to examine the jewelry, and the more covetous she became.
"Mama," she said. "I have a hundred dollars saved. Do you think there's something I could buy in here?"
"No, sweetie," I told her as kindly as possible. "It's not that kind of store."
"Oh," she was momentarily deflated, but strangely didn't seem to internalize this information. "What about this little ring?" she asked, pointing to a gold band set with ruby, emerald, diamond, and sapphire. Granted, it was not ostentatious. So I could understand her confusion. "It's my favorite thing in the whole store," she told me wistfully. I showed her the price. "Oh," she said. "I don't have that much."
"No," I said. "Neither do I."
"I love it so much, mama."
"Hedgehog," I said. "There are so many things in here that I would dream of having, but I just have to dream, because they're not for me."
However, her innocent words were overheard by a very indulgent grandma. And what do you think happened next? Yes. You are correct. Seven-year-old Hedgehog became the proud yet non-comprehending owner of a gold ring set with ruby, emerald, diamond, and sapphire. And what was my reaction? Jealousy, pure and simple. Never ever before have I been jealous of Hedgehog, never have I begrudged her a moment of happiness or any material thing given to her. Never ever. But here we were, surrounded by stunning jewelry, much of which I would have loved beyond words to receive, but that Sgt. Pepper and I could never ever afford, and instead a little girl was receiving a totally insanely decadently luxe gift, a gift she can't even understand. I felt my throat tighten momentarily, actually felt tears welling up. I'm making this confession here; I comfort myself that one can't help what one feels.
And once I got over these shameful feelings of jealousy, my mothering instinct kicked in. Now I'm still sorting out the event in my mind. Do I object to her getting such an expensive piece of jewelry, for no reason at all, just because she said she liked it? Maybe it's not my place to object--and her grandmother can do whatever she likes with her money. Should I have said something to halt this maybe immoral display of largesse? No, I don't think so. And I tried not to ruin the moment by making faces at Sgt. Pepper and perhaps pinching him until he screamed. In the end, I'm going to let it go and consider that now Hedgehog has her very own special possession that will always be with her, if only in her jewelry box.
The rest of the day was spent in the minivan driven maniacally from place to place.
We ended up at an amusement park, where Hedgehog convinced me to ride this with her:
I agreed and, indeed, enjoyed myself. We saw the moon over the Gulf of Mexico:
But poor Hedgehog as it turned out really really didn't like the height:
Here she is, as she explained to me, trying "not to fall out":
After which, we took a ride on the beautiful carousel:
Where the crazy lights and angles and movement were just a wee bit trippy for me:
But the dignified old rabbit was a comforting presence:
We ended up at a barbecue joint, where Hedgehog rallied enough to ham it up for the camera with a piece of smoked brisket:
Then she flagged, and who could blame her. Between the jewels and the heights, it was a very intense sort of day:
Now why on earth can't they get the punctuation right?