Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Pay It Forward
Five minutes ago, I staggered to the checkout line at the market around the corner. I'd just walked with my kids to our local fire station. The door was closed, I didn't see a soul, I wouldn't ring the bell (we'd been there three times in the last five days and yesterday, firefighter Rich gave Elliot a tour of the truck and put on his mask for Elliot to see), my son became hysterical. Just as he was calming down, a block and a half later, we passed the Card-O-Mat. My daughter she wanted a card, a princess card to send to her cousin. Making a card wouldn't work because she didn't have princess stickers. She became hysterical. I finally got to the market where I got eggs, which we need, and whole wheat flour, so I could make this cake, which we don't need. I went to pay, but my wallet was nowhere to be found. I couldn't remember my credit card number, my daughter was desperate to eat a sort-of-mini chocolate muffin which I, in my desperate state, had allowed her to have. Suddenly, a woman appeared before me with two crisp fives, complete with purple numerals, and a big smile. "You forgot your wallet?" she asked pleasantly. "Yeah," I sighed. "Take it. Pay it forward. I'm serious." So, after some protest, I decided not to deprive this woman of her obvious and heartfelt good will. "I've had toddlers, too," she said. I got home and there was an email from the American Jewish World Service asking for money to help fight world hunger. What else could I do? I paid it forward.