My husband and I were married almost two years ago in a very small ceremony. While our wedding was very much about our love for each other, it was also about my daughter who was 8 at the time and the formation of our immediate family trio. We included her in the ceremony: just as we made vows to each other, we made vows to her; just as we exchanged jewelry that symbolized our commitment to each other, we gave her a necklace with a silver heart to symbolize our commitment to her.
And then she lost it.
My husband and I were saddened. Perhaps not shocked, but saddened. We knew that the necklace carried more emotional meaning for us, but we had hoped that it was a symbol of our love for her and made her feel like an important part of what as a special day for our family.
When we picked out the necklace for her, we got something that was nice and of good quality, but not too nice. I didn't fully trust her to take good care of a piece worth serious dollars, but I trusted her enough to get something that wasn't, well, chintzy. Apparently not going top dollar was a good call because a little more than a year ago, the necklace disappeared.
We searched and searched. No necklace.
My tween said she last remembered having it at her dad's house. We asked him to search. Nothing.
Then, last week, the prodigal necklace returned! Well, actually, I found a box of my daughter's things from the move that occurred three months after the wedding. I glanced in it and saw some plastic bead necklaces and some small stuffed animals. Nothing important. I asked her to go through the box and put items where they belonged or put what she didn't want in the donate box. She did not. A few weeks later, I said I was just throwing the whole box away as she had clearly lived more than a year happily without it. Instead, my husband delivered the box to my tween's room and told her to go through it.
The next morning, my tween says to me, "I need your help but I'm not sure if it's going to make you really happy, or really mad."
THAT'S always a great intro.
The girl produces a plastic bead necklace she made in preschool years and years ago, and it is tangled with, you guessed it, the necklace from our wedding.
I managed to untangle the necklace, and she asked me to put it on her.
I hope that she hangs on to it this time, but I understand that it had more sentimental value to me than it did to her. It was our wedding, not hers, and she was 8 years old. We could only expect so much. In her mind, jewelry was jewelry and so why wouldn't you keep plastic with silver?
Far more importantly than keeping the necklace, I hope that she knows how very important she is, to both myself and my husband, whom we call her bonus dad. I hope she knows that our love and support is something that she can never, ever lose.