The other night I stopped by Target to pick up some odds and ends. While waiting in line I noticed this gangly kid and his mom. Normally I'd glance and then go back to my iPhone game, but something about the kid caught my eye. He had on an old shirt laden with holes; wearing shoes that were obviously too big. More than that he had round large sad eyes that were both searching and hiding from others in line. The mom stood in front of him frantically searching through her purse for coins; trying to find enough money to pay for her kid's dollar poster board.
My heart went out and so I took out a dollar and casually mentioned that it's a pet peeve of mine too, to have to use a debit card when it's just a dollar or so. She smiled at me, but declined the money stating that she was okay. The boy looked to her and said softly, "But what about my lunch tomorrow?"
I pretended like I didn't hear because I could tell the mom was trying to keep it together. She patted her son on the back and said it would be okay. I just wanted to hug her...
I remember when teachers at school would assign projects like it was nothing...I remember the stress that would bubble up inside, wondering if my parents would have the cash for such things. People made it look so easy to go out and shop. Even now with all the fashion and fun blogging out there I still experience that weird disconnect. The Have's vs the Have-Nots and how hard it is for the fortunate to understand the grief that comes with paying for one white poster board.
I'm grateful for a job. I'm grateful for the ten dollars in my wallet, but even more grateful that I'm able to remember my past enough to never take my fortunate moments for granted.
For me a dollar in my wallet will always symbolize peace. I pray that little boy gets the highest grade in his class on that project!