Okay, so last night I noticed that 1000 yen (about 10 bucks) was missing from my wallet. I'd forgotten to put my purse away and had just hung it on a chair in the kitchen. While I was having a shower, the girl came in and said she wanted to meet a friend in the park, but would be back by 6:15 -- I looked at the clock in the shower and saw that it was already 5:50, but let her go.
Later that evening, I looked in my wallet and found the money missing. I knew for sure that I should have had 7000 yen in there because I had paid my departmental association fee of 3000 yen from a 10,000 yen bill before leaving the campus.
I called the husband, who called the kids into the room. I said that I knew money was missing from my wallet. I asked the boy, husband, and girl in that order if they had taken it. The boy and husband denied it; the girl said nothing. I told her I knew she'd taken it and would she please put it back. She stood silent. After a time, I told the boy to leave, because he was playing with his wallet and I that wasn't helping the situation. While the husband sat silent, I told the girl that I knew she had a good heart, but was doing bad things. I told her that we loved her and knew that she was smart enough to know from right and wrong. I pleaded with her to do the right thing and return the money to me. She stayed silent and standing and I was sitting on my bed, giving her straight eye-contact. I never got mad or raised my voice. I told her I knew she felt she needed more money, but that taking it was stealing and that I was disappointed and sad because I want to trust her.
Between my words there were long patches of silence where we just looked at each other. She shifted around, looked at the floor, and scratched at herself, but said nothing. Finally, she said to both my husband and I, "I took it; I'm sorry."
I thanked her for that and told her that was half of what was necessary. I told her I was very happy that she admitted it and apologized, but she had to return the money. Several times I urged to go to her room and just get it and this would all be over, but she wouldn't budge. Finally, I told the husband to go, because he looked heavy and I had a feeling that she would say something to me that she might not say in front of him.
After a while, and much throat clearing, she said again that she was sorry that she'd taken it, but had spent it, so couldn't give it back. I asked her where she used it and she told me the convenience store. So, that was where she went while I was showering earlier. I thanked her again for her honesty. She went to her room and played her piano, and I listened through the wall (I had asked for a concert earlier before all this happened), but I didn't leave my room and didn't talk with her again except when she came to my door to apologize one more time. Before going to sleep, I sent her a text telling her I loved her and to have a good sleep.
This morning, as we always do, we started again. I sent her a phone message greeting her and asking if she wanted a cereal and yoghurt parfait for breakfast. She came down, ate, took her meds and went to school.
When I arrived at my office, I put my hand in the outer pocket of my purse and found 210 yen that hadn't been there yesterday. I guess she had some change left from her shopping expedition and put it back when I wasn't looking this morning. I'm very proud of her. I sent her a text simply saying "thank you" and will leave it at that.
This is been a stressful time and has been taking a toll on me emotionally, so I've decided it's no shame to go back on the anti-anxiety medicine full time again until things calm down a little more. It was hard, too, with the boy at first, but I don't remember... I guess it's like forgetting the pain after the pregnancy and deciding to have another child!
Thanks for reading and for your support, as always!