Jennifer is a one in a million stay-at-home mom. (More like one OF a million stay at home moms!) She graduated from a liberal arts college but there is nothing liberal OR artsy about her. She is married to Kevin Fischer of This Just In, and together they have a beautiful toddler daughter Kyla Audrey. In no particular order she loves dogs, wine, a good bargain, her family, pizza, and entertaining. Follow her blog of all things miscellaneous including but not limited to cooking and baking, entertaining and party planning, being a mommy, and homekeeping.
We had an incredible day today at Irish Fest. The weather was perfect. Kyla had an opportunity to watch Cashel Dennehy Irish dancers in the first row at the Aer Lingus stage. We ate delicious corned beef sandwiches from our favorite vendor, McBob’s. We saw old friends and made new ones. Kyla had her photo taken with Paddy and Molly McFest. We met Irish Setters and Irish terriers. Kevin had a fabulous time emceeing the children’s freckle contest. Most importantly, Kyla was especially proud because this was her very first time wearing her Claddagh ring from Grandma Audrey. Her “baby” ring finally fit her slender little finger.
All these fantastic experiences pale in comparison to our time spent at the fountains where all the kids love to play, splash, and cool off. Kyla was eager to run through them despite the weather being pleasantly warm and not unbearably hot. So I changed her into her Minnie Mouse swimsuit and away she went. She had so much fun, and Daddy was close behind her for most of the adventures. When he went off to “powder his nose” it was just the two of us running around.
“Something” told me to look down at Kyla’s hand to check on her ring. It had vanished.
I didn’t know what to do. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it had graced her hand for only a couple hours and now it was gone. What on earth would I do? So many things raced through my mind: this was Gramma’s ring to Kyla given to her for her baptism; there was no way to replace it; pray to St. Anthony; pray to Audrey; there’s some legend out there that a Claddagh can never truly be lost and will always return to the owner.
Kyla was crying inconsolably. I was too stunned to cry. In the brief time that Kevin was off to the rest room, we caused enough commotion that everyone in the area knew something was wrong. After I told Kevin what happened, literally everyone else in the play area was helping us look. One dad asked Kevin what it looked like; one mom told her son: “take your shoes off, get in there, and help them look.” The security attendant was helping in the search. I was in one direction, Kevin was in another and all the while Kyla was at my side, crying hysterically. Suddenly from across the circle I heard, “We found it!”
A little girl, barely a year or two older than Kyla had discovered it and handed it to Kevin. He promptly placed a kiss on her head. I went up to her, swooped her up in my arms and wouldn’t let go. I honestly have never hugged a child other than my own that long or that hard. I don’t think she quite understood what she did that was so great.
I told Kevin to offer her mom some of our drink tickets. He did, but she refused to accept them. We let the girls play awhile longer and when it seemed they were about to head out I approached the little girl and handed her a $5 bill. I told her to give it to her mommy and to tell her to get her a little treat today. The mom came over and did her very best to give the money back. She insisted it wasn’t necessary. We insisted it was.
I understood; she was doing her best to teach her daughter that you do the nice thing, the right thing, just because it is the nice thing and the right thing. Not because you expect anything from it. And while I whole-heartedly agree with that, it was clearly a moment that needed to be acknowledged in the only way we could. Eventually she agreed to keep the meager reward. I told her that something wonderful would surely happen to their family today, and Kevin told her that the sentimental value of the ring couldn’t possibly be replaced.
Now every year we are at Irish Fest, and especially when we pass the fountains, we will think of that little darling girl who gave so much by doing “so little.” And for you, little lass who helped our family in a way we can’t repay:
May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings
right beside your door.