Thing is, because I don't have a ton, I don't have a lot to give up. I mean, her little fingers aren't as gentle as they should be...and they are certainly forgetful when it comes to any "rules" or hiding places they've found.
And the four year old girl whines and says she loves it.
"It" being costume jewelry at best. I have discounted items that caught my eye on clearance, and dress-up jewelry in a pinch for THAT outfit on THAT occasion. She doesn't mess with the two or three "nice" items I have...because I know better to keep those out of reach.
So, what she steals is pretty much c-r-a-p...but to this non-fashionista...it's something to give that boring outfit pop...
After her playtime though, the gems are popped off, the clasp is broken, or the necklace is a tangled mess.
Thanks to my lil jewelry thief.
It's the one thing that softens my scolding to, "Okay, just be careful," when she asks "Pleeeease!"
My Greek yiayia's small brass jewelry box sits empty on the dresser. But it's filled with memories. The glass box is one of the only things I really wanted when she passed, because it was the one thing from my childhood that I remember treasuring most.
Yiayia never said no when I asked to play with her jewelry--the gaudy necklaces and bangles that sat in that glass box. The jewelry case was as precious to me as Cinderella's crystal carriage because my four foot-somethin' yiayia allowed me to indulge in the pretties each time I'd visit.
I am also reminded of the bright red lipstick in a mint-green tube that Yiayia let me wear, and the high-heeled shoes I'd slip on from her crowded closet. All the memories stem from this gold and glass treasure that I'd open each time and begin my play. It's a tiny cove reminding me of being loved, indulged, and treated as a princess.
When I spy the glass jewelry box on my dresser now, a year after my yiayia passed away, I think of her generosity toward me, and how she'd say, "Anything!" when I asked for something. She loved to cultivate my childish joy, and it seemed that desire surpassed any value she might have had for that jewelry.
Maybe her bobbles were just costume jewelry like mine are now. All the more reason I should learn from Yiayia when I find my four year old daughter indulging in my own trinkets.
It's just stuff. But the joy it brings is worth the broken clasps or the lost earring...because I hope, years from now, my daughter will remember fondly the mama who let her indulge in the pretties.