And I spotted the poor Dad frantically running after his yelling toddler through the Dollar Store saying, "How about this blue now, or this purple one, here's a green boat?????".
And I saw one, a little green dinky car. I quickly called after the man and handed him the car. His face said, "god bless you, I think I love you, you're my hero" all in one look. He introduced me to his energetic son Owen and had him thank me for finding the car.
I got to the check out line just ahead of Owen and his Dad. He had the car and just a few other items. I had a cart full as I so often do when I go to the Dollar Store. Stupid store makes me ridiculously happy because you can buy everything you want and still leave having spent under a hundred dollars.
I insisted they go ahead of me to check out rather than waiting because Owen was now insisting he open the car before the cashier even rang it in. As I excitedly said the words, "you have to give it to the nice lady so she can ring it in and then YOU CAN OPEN IT", the father looked at me and said, "oh this is never pretty, he thinks he won't get anything back from the cashier". As he took the car and explained what was happening little Owen's faced started to turn beet red and the sobbing began. "Why? Why did you take it?" he said through tears. The poor Dad looked exhausted.
And then I heard it, "sir, we don't take VISA".
The Dad looked panicked as he said, "oh no, my bank card didn't work at the last store and I have no cash, oh shit this is not going to go well", and he started to try to explain to his already crying son why they had to leave the car with the nice lady and come back for it.
The explosion from the child was ear shattering.
I quickly got a ten dollar bill out of my purse and put it in front of the cashier and said, "please just ring it through". The Dad insisted he couldn't accept it and I said that was fine then he could go to the bank, get some cash, and meet me outside BUT that his son WAS taking the car. Owen was told to thank the "angel lady, she saved us 3 times already this morning". LOL
It took a few minutes to ring me through. I really did have a cart full. I got out to my car and loaded up my bags thinking I would just leave, no matter what, I wasn't going to sweat ten dollars. I decided to quickly clean the front passenger side floor of my car where garbage often gathers without my knowledge. I figured giving them a few more minutes couldn't hurt.
As I went to the garbage can outside the store I saw Owen out of the corner of my eye running down the walkway green car in one hand, a waving 20 dollar bill in the other. His Dad followed shortly behind him. I gave them the receipt and change due and the Dad called me a life saver and had Owen thank me again.
I realize that ten dollars is a lot to trust a stranger with but it was ten dollars to save a child an unnecessary tantrum and a father his sanity. Whether they came back or not, it felt good. Perhaps it's a bit much you might think but still it felt really really good. And humanity came through in the end when I saw the little tyke running happily toward me.
Try this stuff people, it really feels good to do good shit now and again. Try more now and again, rather than later.
Perhaps this stuff will put the human back in humanity.
If you don't have cash to spare, jump out of your car to help the elderly across the street. Give away gift cards your given to someone who needs it more than you. Gather your kids up and do a lemonade stand for charity. It all makes a difference in everyone's lives, including your own.