“Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.” –Marian Wright Edelman
Toys R’ Us used to regularly air a commercial with the jingle “I don’t want to grow up cause baby if I did, I couldn’t be a Toys R’ Us kid.” That commercial made my 8-year-old self so sad.
“I’m never growing up” I would ardently proclaim each time it came on. It was the same kind of declaration I made when my mom refused to watch cartoons with me because they were “for little kids.”
“Well when I’m adult I’m still going to want to watch Care Bears and My Little Ponies,” I’d say. Turns out I was wrong. Kids do grow up and all people’s interests change over time. But that doesn’t mean I don’t remember what it felt like to be a kid.
I distinctly remember one Birthday where my dad took me to Toys R’ Us and told me I could pick out whatever I wanted. I was ecstatic. Most Birthday gifts involved clothes: some new socks, a pair of jeans, a kitty cat sweater to pull the look together. This was my chance to pick out whatever I wanted. Oh the power I wielded.
Today I wanted to give another kid that same opportunity by giving him or her a Toys R’ Us gift card. Oliver and I went to Toys R’ Us and started scoping out our possible recipients. When I told Brad about our adventure later he would kindly call this “creepy stalker-like behavior.” I saw a young girl admiring some of the dolls on display. She stopped to pick one up, but her dad continued onward down the isle beckoning her to keep walking. The girl looked sad as she set the doll down and moved on.
I walked up to the pair, briefly explained my 29 random acts of kindness project, and asked the dad if it was okay for the girl to have the card. He seemed confused and responded, “uh, okay?” I handed it over to her. He then followed up with, “it’s her Birthday tomorrow.”
“Well Happy Birthday then,” I told her. “Now you can buy yourself a Birthday present.” And with that Oliver and I walked away.
Unfortunately, I’m not made of money (oh goodness, I definitely am a grown-up), and I only had $10 to give, but I really hope she put it to good use. And not the adult version of “good use,” which would have meant diapers, food, car insurance payments, or some other equally boring necessity. I mean I hope she purchased whatever toy she deemed to be the best, most fun thing to play with ever. The toy that is going to make her laugh. The toy that is going to make her the smile. The toy that is going to remind her what being a kid is all about.
Because no, I may not be a Toys R’ Us kid anymore, but today I tried my best to ensure that one little girl remains one for just a little while longer.