I lost my wedding ring over 3 years ago. I know exactly where and when it happened.
My youngest child was a small toddler and I was her exhausted mother. As I lay down on the couch for a minute, I took off my ring to put some lotion on my hands. But as often happens when a mother of young children stops moving for even a second in the middle of the day, I felt myself start to drift off to sleep. I remember thinking, “Better put your ring back on. It may not be there when you wake up.” Sure enough, when I woke up it was gone.
I searched high and low (especially in and around the couch), but to no avail. When we moved a few years later, I thought for sure it would turn up. Don’t you just find the darndest things when you move? Like lost wedding rings? Nope. Just spare change, pieces from Operation, and old checkers.
It wasn’t an expensive wedding ring to say the least. We got engaged as college students and had hardly any money to our names. Even so, it was my wedding ring and held huge sentimental value. I was sad to lose it.
After three years, I had all but given up on finding my ring until two weekends ago when I was getting ready for some friends who were coming to dinner. Our vacuum was in the shop getting fixed, so I borrowed one from a friend to clean up a little before dinner. For whatever reason, I got a little carried away trying out the attachments, and while plunging the vacuum wand deep inside the cushions of the living room couch I heard something metallic trying to make its way up the hose. Looking to see what was making such a racket, I saw something round and shiny. It was my wedding ring!
I couldn’t believe it. If I had searched those couch cushions once, I had searched them a hundred times. (Obviously, never deep enough.) I was ecstatic! I set the vacuum aside, thinking about how I would tell my husband the good news. It was like an early Valentine’s Day present for both of us!
After dinner I immediately put on some gloves, ripped open the vacuum bag, and started searching for my beloved wedding ring. (Going through someone else’s very full vacuum bag is not something I would recommend unless absolutely necessary. Ack!) Nasty as it was, my darling 7-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, really wanted to help me with this treasure hunt of treasure hunts, so she put on some gloves and went to work beside me. Not everyone in the family was quite so enthusiastic, but there was definitely a sense of excitement about Mom finding her lost wedding ring. Even though it had been replaced by now with something a whole lot bigger from a jewelers that is known for the best Los Angeles engagement rings.
It was my husband who found the marble sized silver ball, most likely a piece from one of the 734 toys and games floating around our house. (Darn those little game pieces!) Having mourned the loss of my ring years before, it wasn’t that hard for me to settle back into my state of wedding ring complacency. (A silver marble? Meh.)
That night as I climbed into bed, a crinkling of paper kept me from sinking into my pillow. It was a note from my little Elizabeth:
(In case you can’t read that, it says “Dear: Mom I really sorry you couldn’t find your ring. And that’s why I’m giving you my favorite ring. I hope you like it (heart) Elizabeth”)
Seriously, who needs a wedding ring with a love note like that? Maybe that’s why I stopped feeling sorry for myself so quickly.
Sure, having a wedding ring is important to me (which is why I do wear a teeny gold band to ward off the scads of gorgeous men always flirting with me), and someday we may even go ahead and splurge on the kind of ring I would have liked in the first place, but for the time being? I’ve got the prettiest plastic ruby ring anyone could ever want.
So while I know this Valentine’s Day many people will have traditional expectations for their romantic gift of choice (chocolate, flowers, jewelry, perfume–and I will love whatever my own husband offers), I have to admit: I’m content with the love of a child.
QUESTION: What gifts of love have you received from a child lately?
CHALLENGE: Stop to think about how meaningful those little gifts really are and how amazing it is that your child probably loves you more than anyone else!
*Photo by bigjom at www.freedigitalphotos.net
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