Saturday, March 6, 2010

Paying it forward

My kids are spoiled. They have everything they could ever want, yet somehow always seem to find other things they want. Maybe they're just normal humans as we all seem to have that tendency, don't we?

After Christmas, they got to spend some of the money grandparents had sent them. That was all fine and good, but I grew rather tired of them wishing to get something new when we went to the store when we'd just had Christmas! So, I said, ok, we're putting a stop to this for a little while. "You can't buy anything new until March!" Oh were they glad when March got closer. I'm a little weak though and told them they could go to the store Friday evening when they asked. They'd been saving their money for whatever purchase for "March". Since this post is small, they have walked to the Post Exchange a few times by themselves. They did that Friday evening. Dev was in search of Wii Speak for the Wii. R was in search of something Lego-ish. About fifteen minutes after they left, Dev called to make sure it was ok that they buy what they'd found. G-Dub told them that was fine as long as they had their money and it covered it.

A little while later, they walked in the door exasperated, holding their bag containing their goods. Imagine my confusion when they said, "We got our stuff, but didn't spend a dime of our money!" My first question though I knew the answer already was, "You didn't steal anything did you?" Hey, had to ask. They rolled their eyes at me and said, "No, you're not going to believe this though, Mom!" They proceeded to tell me about checking out at the cashier. Dev had thought the thing he wanted was $19.95, but when the clerk rang it up, it came up as $29.95. Reed's Lego rang up at $14.95 which they knew was right. Since Dev had only taken enough money to pay for a $19.95 item, he told the cashier to take his off and they'd just pay for R's. It was at that moment a lady behind them said, "Go ahead and get it all, this is on me." They gave her a quizzical look and told her thank you, but you don't have to do that. She said, "No, when I was young, some stranger did something similar for me. I want to do this." She then told the clerk to add her bottle of water to the transaction and complete it. She scanned her debit card into the machine and walked away leaving Dev and R standing there with their mouths hanging open.

I asked if they'd ever seen her before, if she was older or younger, if she had a dependent's id or an active military id.... everything I could think of to ask about this woman. They had never seen her before. She looked to be younger than me. And they hadn't noticed her id card during the transaction. I had thought maybe she was a grandmother missing her grandkids or something. Maybe she was a mother missing her kids in the states. *dunnno* Whoever she was, she was their best friend last Friday evening!

I told them that they would have to remember her when they were ready to pay a favor or good deed forward someday.

2 comments:

  1. This is so strange...I've got my own 'pay it forward' story that I have yet to write about. It happened to MIL just a couple of weeks ago.

    It's kind of neat isn't it?

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  2. We call that a "Who Cares?" moment at my church. We're celebrating 20 years as a church this year, and we've decided to corporately "pay it forward". We handed out cards to the congregation (the cards are black and say Who Cares?" on one side, with www.20yearsofcaring.com on the other side). We hand them out randomly to people. I've paid for people's meals at the drive-thru of McDonalds, Chick-Fil-A, and Burger King. We have a blog at our church website where people can blog about their "who cares" moments, and also, for people who have been recipients to come and blog.

    Our LifeGroup (small group/Sunday School class) decided to collect cases of water for the new USO at our airport. I delivered 30 cases of water to them...they were beyond thankful! Your children recieved quite a blessing, Gwen...they will pay it forward one day, too!

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