I’ll just say it.
I’m the one who stole your Baby Jesus. Snatched him right out of the pencil tray in your desk. How could I not?
It’s no excuse, but I believe I needed him more than you did that day. Even your pitiful tears that made snot ooze over the crest of your lips and into your mouth…that made me flush from my neck to the tips of my ears…could not budge my resolve. I needed your tiny plastic Baby Jesus and I took it. And I told you eye to eye that I didn’t.
I’ve never forgotten this moment of lost innocence when at seven years old, I learned I wasn’t that good girl. Behind my twinkling eyes, freckled nose and curly locks a monster lurked in the dark recesses of my heart. I can think of nothing more heinous than what I did that day. Baby Jesus? That’s how hard core I was when I embarked on my maiden crime spree. It has haunted me for years.
And I don’t expect you to forgive me little boy, who is now a man. I hope you have forgotten it and me. And if it’s any consolation I’ve learned my lesson.
I needed to know about the darkness inside of me so I could choose the light, so I could learn not to judge.
I never stole again after that day. And when I have fallen victim myself to petty thievery I have learned to let it go. To say a silent prayer even, for the perpetrator. Whatever it was that captured their fancy, I am convinced that they needed it more than me.