How could a little red ball teach such a grand lesson? Well, this is the little ball Brennan picked up when we recently visited a store. I allowed him to play with it as I shopped so it would keep him occupied. Right before leaving, I asked him to put it down so we could go. Not surprisingly for him lately…he didn’t listen & didn’t put it down! I of course didn’t realize this and we went on our way home. Later that night out came the red ball, being thrown around at home. I looked at him and said, “where did you get that?” he looked at me with guilt and said, “at the store.” He was promptly sent to his room until Daddy got home and we could all talk about it. My husband and I were taken back by this as he is really quite an honest child, we wondered if he really understood what he did. So, we talked, I asked him if he was told to put it down before we left and he recalled he was. We discussed the magnitude of this event for awhile, never seeming to really phase Brennan as he didn’t seem as remorseful as we’d hoped! We discussed the 10 Commandments and how Jesus would be very unhappy (to which he was more worried how Santa would feel about it)! We taught him about repentence and told him he would have to take it back to the manager and hope that he or she was nice and would not be angry. At this point, he STILL seemed unphased but was willing to face the consequences! It was then that my husband mentioned that it was AGAINST the LAW to steal and that he could in fact GO TO JAIL! I was surprised, but happy to see Brennan finally GETTING IT!!!! Ah ha…lightbulb moment, THIS IS A BIG DEAL! It was just what we were looking for that he understood how important it was to not steal! So, the tears finally came and my generally very gentle husband kept on it telling Brennan he should really be worried about where he might sleep that night! So, we ate dinner and drove the whole family back to the store despite it being the kids bedtime. Brennan didn’t seem too nervous so Reuben again mentioned that he should be concerned for what the weekend had in store for him. So we asked for the manager and this younger lady came out and walked up to us, I motioned that my child had something to tell her, she was confused and obviously didn’t pick up on what we were doing. He handed her the ball and said, “I took this today and I am sorry and I won’t do it again” he was at least nervous and slightly emotional by now…the woman happily responded “oh sweetie, it’s ok, thank you so much!!” I looked to my husband with HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT…clearly this woman didn’t get that we were trying to TEACH him a lesson here, while we didn’t need her to freak him out, a simple stern response or reiteration of the law and importance of NOT STEALING from her store would have been GREAT! So, that was that. Brennan has to earn money to pay us for stealing a ball and we HOPE that he has learned a lesson from his experience despite getting off TOO EASY from the store!