Mar 28, 2007

Straw Hat Karma Community

A few weeks ago, our son went to a birthday party after school. He and a few friends, piled into a van and were wisked away to a magical land know as Straw Hat Pizza; at least that's how he remembers it. Since that afternoon, he has been begging Carolyn and I to take him there again.
"They have the best games there, and the pizza tastes good, and they have Sprite," he has repeatedly informed us. Well, tonight we went.
I was able to get off work a little early and Carolyn has been feeling a bit under the weather, so I rounded up the two oldest kids and we made the short trek to Straw Hat Pizza to appease Wyatt and give mama a break. After ordering our pizza, we chose a seat and I gave the kids $5 to play video games. I told them that we were only going to spend the $5 and then eat our pizza, usually the money goes quicky and they cry for more, but tonight was a little different.
They never actually got to the video games, because Straw Hat Pizza has an enormous collection of carnival-esk games that spit out tickets. You can then take the tickets and exchange them for useless little trinckets. Needless to say, it takes hundreds of tickets to get anything of substance and the games are less than willing to give out said tickets. But, we took what we collected (65 tickets I think) and exchanged them for a rubber duckie and a coin purse. The kids were happy enough to finally sit and eat.
While we were eating I noticed that there were two other Dads (without Mama's) and their kids at the next two tables. I made small talk with the dad that was closest, "I didn't expect this."
"Me either. I promised I would take them to McDonalds, you know one with the play structure, but the one next door doesn't have a play structure."
"Well, it looks like they're having fun."
"Yeah, it's just a lot more expensive."
We both laughed and went back to eating. He and his two boys finished, and exchanged their tickets at the prize counter next to our table and then left. The other dad, who had a daughter, came up to our table and asked my son if he wanted a plastic soldier his daughter had "won" (she wasn't interested). He excepted and thanked the man. A moment later, it got stranger...
The girl that was running the prize counter tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a slip of paper.
"The man that just left said he got all he needed and asked me to give you the rest of his tickets, there are five hundred and fifty."
I was a little stunned; and at first, my thoughts leaned toward, "oh good, more junk." Then I realized what had just happened...a perfect lesson.
I pulled my son and daughter over and explained that someone very nice had given us some tickets and that they could choose something from the prize counter. Elated, they chose a little green lizard and a small stuffed lamb. By this time someone different had come to run the prize counter. He informed me that we still had three hundred and fifty tickets left. I asked him if we could pass them on, he gave me the strangest look.
"We have everything we need, can I give the rest to him?" I pointed to the third dad.
"I guess," the attendant stammered.
I walked over to the dad (the one who had given my son the toy soldier, "One good turn deseres another, there are 350 points left on this thing, let your daughter get somethiing she really wants."
"Are you serious?"
"Yeah, have a good one."
We walked out to the car and I strapped the kids in. I sat down in the front seat and Wyatt asked me who had given us the tickets and why. I told him who gave them to us and that he had enough to get what he needed so he gave us the rest, then we got something fun. Since we had all we needed, we gave someone else the rest.
"So another kid is going to get something fun too?"
"That's good."
What an unexpected moment. In a small little pizza shop in a nearby town, my children got to see what the world could be like if we all just took what we needed and passed on the rest to others. Pretty soon, the whole world would be fed.
"That's good."


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful lesson - glad you had fun!

emily said...

What a beautiful teaching moment :-)

Anonymous said...

I normally lurk here, but I had to say thank you for this story. We are really working on the concept of enough with our kids, and I'm happy to know that it is an achievable goal!!!

Melissa said...

Praise God that you were open enough to see this as something good to pass along to your children!

Thank you for sharing!

getmeoutofhere said...

What an amazing event. :)