During the picnic, the littluns and not-so-littluns went to the neighborhood park. My niece came back and handed me a wallet she had found.
There were tons of credit cards, a driver's license, and over a hundred bucks in cash.
The license was far, far out of state- North Carolina- and I didn't know what to do. My police officer brother told me to call the police department's non-emergency number and have them pick it up.
Two things: I would never think to pass a found wallet to the police department, but now that I do know, it'll be SOP, and I don't know why I (who had been partaking of the most excellent sangria) was tapped as responsible adult in this scenario.
I called the police and they sent an officer to pick up the wallet.
It was only when I was talking to my aunt and good sister-in-law that they told me I should call information and try to call the owner of the wallet. The guy wasn't listed, but the nice 411 operator, after I blurted that my niece had found the wallet and I was trying to contact him, asked if I had an address. She matched it with one of the names and gave me the number.
I left a message (might've been a skosh incoherent), and a couple hours later, the wife called wanting to know where the police department was. I told her and she thanked me and my niece.
Here's where I'm a witch. I didn't expect a reward and my niece certainly didn't expect a reward. Her parents have brought her up right and with no hesitation she had handed the wallet over to a responsible adult (sangria notwithstanding). But it would've been nice to be able to turn down an offer.
I don't know the reason I feel that way. Did I need a little more self-righteousness? Did I need to make the noble refusal?
I know that if I had lost my wallet, the loss of money would've stung, but it would've been the loss of credit cards and driver's license that really hurt. And if someone returned it, I would've gotten their address and sent them a chunk of cash with a soppy thank you. Because even though my niece didn't need her behavior rewarded, I'm a sucker for integrity.
My niece hasn't said a word about the incident, and I feel plenty small souled for even thinking the thoughts.* But there you go.
*This does not in any way, shape, or form diminish the pride I feel in the fact that she's a really decent person along with being a fabulous niece.