Monday, September 20, 2010

Kid Kindness and the Claw

It is so tempting with all those smiling fuzzy bears and shiny prizes, the lure of the claw machine is almost too much to bear.

"Mama, can we try?  Mama, can I have a dollar?"

If you concentrate really hard you can actually see your dollar slipping out of the claw machine's loose and slivery grasp.

Such is the scene on a day when our five year old just cashed in his coins for a nice bank roll, $7.50 to be exact.  A trip to the store is almost a given with that much money burning a hole in your play shorts.

"Honey don't try
the claw machine, no one hardly ever wins, and you will lose your dollar."  I try to speak reason, but the allure of the claw, again, too great a competition.

"I can win it, I'll use the claw to grab this teddy bear."  He points to a perfectly nice bear teetering on a pile of other bears, with an expression that promises fun, but I know this elusive toy creature is actually just smirking as it lies in wait to allude the claw's grasp.

I hand over his dollar and watch as my son tries to wield the mechanical claw over to his plush prey.

The claw's shiny tentacle barely grazes the bear next to our target.  I somehow resist the urge to jump up and down and say,"I told you so, I told you so."  Real mature, I know.

"Awww...can I do it again."  My son looks up at me with those pleading eyes, that say I could blow my whole bank roll on this one activity.  No problem.

"No, lets go inside.  There are plenty of dollar items in here."

So off we went into the wilds of dollar deals, but not before a teenage boy and his mom saw us trying for the impossible dream at that claw machine.  As he walked by the teen smiled a knowing smile that said been there, done that, many a time.

A few minutes later as we hunted bargains from aisle to aisle, said teenager came a calling with not one, but two plush bears for the boys.

"Here, you go and give one to your brother."  The teenager bent down and handed my two year old both bears.

"Wow, thank you!  How nice of you."  I said, as I thought to myself, I guess someone can win at the  claw.

The best part about this random act of kindness is my boys got to experience a pure good deed.  They kept asking me why the boy won them their bears and why he spent his money.  I can't help but hope they will do the same someday when there is another little boy with that hopeful gleam in his eyes trying to win the prize.

What kindness that surely made a lasting impression on two little boys who now hug those toy bears and think of the big boy with a big heart.


Cindy said...

I love this story! I can't count how many times my boys (Sam in particular) ask to spend their (or my) money on those claw machines.

Last time we saw one, lo and behold, someone had put money in it and didn't use Sam got to try the claw machine on someone else's quarters. And wouldn't you know, he actually got something? An awful, tacky, poorly-made stuffed monkey (or is it a chipmunk?) He is so proud of it. And now of course, our theory that no one ever wins in those things, is completely shot, too!

Michelle said...

What a sweet story, lesson and teenager! I'm sure that will make a big impact on them!