Maxime worked extra hours to buy her daughter, Olive, all her school supplies as she was entering nursery soon, but she was struggling. Olive saw that and, despite her young age, decided to help her mother by cleaning the house, where she found a strange antique key that could change their lives.
“I’m going to clean up around the house as my mother does at hotels!” Olive announced to Mrs. Perkins, the neighbor who babysat some days and nights when Miriam had several more shifts at work. The older woman couldn’t watch the four-year-old every day, but she helped Miriam out as often as possible, knowing what it was like to raise a kid alone and with barely any money.
“Oh my god… that key… I haven’t seen it in years. I had forgotten all about it,” Miriam muttered and knelt to her daughter’s level.
Miriam was a maid at a big hotel chain in Texas and would often take Olive to work with her, although it wasn’t allowed. The little girl would have to hide in her maid cart and only come out to help her mother clean up a few rooms. She couldn’t do much to help, but they had a great time together despite their complicated situation.
That day, Olive was at home with Mrs. Perkins babysitting her, and she wanted to help her mother out. She grabbed a stool and cleaned dishes as best she could with the guidance of the older woman.
Mrs. Perkins smiled watching the little girl doing her best. They changed the bedsheets, too, and tried to use the vacuum, although that was harder for the girl’s little hands.
At some point, Mrs. Perkins got tired and sat down for a while, but Olive wanted to keep going. So she went to her mom’s bookshelf and started dusting around. She took out the books she could reach and removed the dirt from them. Unfortunately, when she tried to return one book to its place on the shelf, some others fell to the floor with a loud thump.
“Child! What happened? Are you ok?” Mrs. Perkins had been dosing off, but she woke up startled and ran to help Olive.
“Some books fell. I’m ok,” Olive replied and started picking some up.
“Alright, sweetie. But you need to be careful. Some of these things are too heavy for you,” the older woman said and helped her arrange them back on the shelf.
“What’s that?” Olive asked. Mrs. Perkins looked down to see where the little girl was pointing. An antique-looking key was next to the last book on the floor. It had seemingly fallen out from between its pages.
“It’s a key,” Mrs. Perkins said, grabbing both items and giving them to Olive.
“What could it be for?” the little girl asked.
“You need to ask your mother. Now, let’s go prepare some dinner together so your mother can have something warm when she comes back.” Olive left the the key and the book on the coffee table.
When Miriam got home from work, she had dinner with Olive and Mrs. Perkins, and said goodbye to the kind woman. Then she and Olive cleaned the kitchen together, and the little girl finally remembered the key.
“Mom, look what I found!” she rushed to bring the book and the key to the kitchen. Her eyes were curious and bright as she showed them to her mother.
“Oh my god… that key… I haven’t seen it in years! I had forgotten all about it,” Miriam muttered and knelt to her daughter’s level.
“It was in this book!” Olive stated, and Miriam nodded with a warm grin.
“Yes, it was my grandfather’s favorite book, Alice in Wonderland,” the mom revealed, grabbing the hardbound copy and looking at the cover.
“What is the key for?” the little girl asked, her eyes shining in curiosity.
“Well… it’s a key to a treasure,” Miriam revealed cheekily. “A treasure I had completely forgotten about.”
Miriam told Olive to stay in the kitchen while she went to the attic and retrieved an antique chest that belonged to her grandfather. She never saw the contents of this chest, but her grandfather had stated that it contained treasures. Maybe it was true.
“Let’s open it!” Olive cheered as they sat down on the living room floor to unearth this mystery.
They opened the chest and discovered some jewelry, old coins, photographs, a small figurine, and some old letters. Olive had a great time looking at and touching all the items. But soon, it was time for bed.
Miriam went back to look at the chest when her daughter was asleep. She wasn’t sure if these items would be valuable, but they could address her current money issues. She needed to get her daughter supplies, new clothes, shoes, and possibly other things. She didn’t want Olive to feel less than the other kids on her first day of school.
The next day, she went to several antique and pawn shops, asking what people would pay for the items. Unfortunately, most store employees said they wouldn’t pay more than $450 for the coins, jewelry, and the figurine. It was a decent amount of money, and after visiting the third shop, Miriam thought about selling it.
However, she decided to try her luck in one more store, an older-looking establishment that had been in business longer than she had been alive. The store owner, who was as old as time, looked at the contents.
“Girl, the other stores were right. This is not worth more than $450,” he stated, but his eyebrows furrowed on the chest. “However, this chest… well, it’s a beauty, and it’s well-preserved. I will give you $2,000 for it plus the $450 for the items. What do you say?”
Miriam’s eyes widened in delight, and she nodded her head rapidly. The man gave her the cash right away. Even if the money didn’t seem like a lot, it meant a ton to Miriam. Her daughter would get the best supplies for her school, and she would save the rest for anything else Olive needed in the future. Her daughter was her main priority, and Miriam would invest all she could into her education.
What can we learn from this story?
Your child’s education should always be a priority. Miriam knew how important it was for Olive to start her school life well – even at the nursery level – and she wanted her daughter to want for nothing. She was working hard for it and would sell anything to ensure it.
Raise your kids so they understand how hard you work and want to support you as best they can. Even at her age, Olive saw how hard her mom worked and decided to help around the house.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.