The baseball glove

(Submitted by Peter Elias)

I think I was in 6th grade when I found the envelope of money on the way home from school and immediately realized it was enough to purchase the PeeWee Reese shortstop glove I so dearly wanted. The one on display in the window of Tim and Tom's sport store on Central Avenue.

Dad reminded me that this was probably someone's rent or grocery money, so we went to the local police station and turned it in.  

Some weeks later, the police called to say that no one has come forward to claim the moeny so we should come by and get it. On the way home, with the envelope clutched firmly in my hand, I asked Dad to stop at Tim and Tom's so I could buy the glove. He asked how I was going to pay for it! I said, with the money in the envelope. He explained that since I had not done anything to earn the money, it was not mine to spend on myself, but that I was to pick a charitable organization and make a donation. I do not remember what I picked, but I DO remember that he made sure I got paid for doing chores around the house over the next month until I had earned enough for the coveted glove. I also remember that, despite my frustration, I understood the difference between getting and earning.

Years later, when I asked about it, he told me how hard it had been for him to deny me something that would have made me happy, but that - for him - there was an important principle involved. If something I found on the street could be mine, something I found on a front yard might also be mine, then something I found on the front seet of an unlocked car...and eventually the process of earning things would be lost.

Through lessons like this, you will always still be with me. Thank you, Dad.