Dear Abby: Yesterday, when I picked my granddaughter “Michelle” up from school, she asked me to take her to get a pizza. I told her I had no money, and she responded that she had her own money. She then pulled $40 out of her pocket.
Michelle is only 9 and has no job. When I asked where she got the money, she told me, “A little boy who’s disabled gave it to me.” I didn’t believe her story, and after I questioned her further, she confessed that she had taken the money from a boy who is NOT disabled. I took the money from her and gave it to her teacher. Her teacher said the boy had accused Michelle, but Michelle had sworn she hadn’t taken it. Abby, my granddaughter not only took his money, but also lied about it. I was devastated. When I told my daughter, she said I should have let her and her husband handle it because now Michelle’s teacher won’t like her and may treat her differently. My daughter is now upset with me, but I was just trying to do the right thing. Did I do the wrong thing?
– Hurt Grandma in Texas
Dear Hurt Grandma: I don’t think so. I’m not sure how your daughter planned to “handle it” and make things right for the boy who was bullied and stolen from, but by doing what you did, you ensured that he got his money back.
One can only hope that Michelle got a talking-to from her parents about what she did, and has learned not to repeat it. But if she’s tempted to do it again, it’s just as well that her teacher will keep a closer eye on her.
Ask clergyperson for help
Dear Abby: My husband has been in prison for 3½ years, but now he’s moving to a halfway house where he will have much more freedom. He wants to attend my church with me, and I know people there will have questions. Only a few of them know where he has been because I shared it with them. What’s the best way to make this comfortable for both of us and share it as we need to?
– Free At Last
Dear Free At Last: That your husband would like to attend church with you is laudable, and I hope his entry into the congregation will be a smooth one. I have often said that once a “secret” is known by more than one person, it is no longer a secret. Discuss this with your clergyperson and let him or her guide you in the process. If you do, it may help to avoid any rough spots along the way.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.