The fondest memory I will save from this 2017 Christmas was made at Walmart of all places, with an adorable 2nd grader who attends The Bethlehem Community Center in Alton Park. She had earned the equivalent of $85 over the past months by having good attendance, good behavior and good homework ethics at the Center’s after school enrichment program. The anticipation had been building for that exciting day when “The Beth Bus” would chauffeur she and her 30+ friends to their long awaited Christmas shopping outing at Walmart. Each child was greeted by an adult volunteer whose job for the morning was to help them spend their “pay check” on their heart’s desire this Christmas. My 2nd grader, thrilled to be allowed to push the cart, wanted to head straight for “Toy Land”, so off we zoomed. She filled her cart with dolls, accessories, stuffed pets, & art sets. We headed to the clothes and shoes and she found a purse, hair barrettes, boots, & an outfit. I asked her if she might be interested in getting any snacks for the bus ride back to The Beth, and her eyes lit-up even brighter than before and we were in pursuit of the snack aisle immediately. Silly enough to think she needed help making a choice on what she might enjoy munching on for fun, chips, candy, snack cakes, cheese crackers and the like were pointed out. But she knew exactly what she wanted as if it was all she came for that day. Marshmallows. Two bags of miniature marshmallows. It came time to take inventory of her selections and do some math to see how much the items in her cart added up to(which is no small feat for this art major!). It was obvious that we had gone over her limit, so it was time to make decisions on what to keep and what to put back on the shelf. She struggled letting go of a couple of items, but she was able to make up her mind on what she wanted the most after 7 or 8 calculations. The marshmallows were never included in the “iffy” category. They were going home with her if nothing else did. She really didn’t mind leaving any of the dolls, toys or personal items behind that she had been so excited to find when this adventure began. But those marshmallows were her prize. As we headed to the check-out lane, she let me push her cart as she skipped happily in front leading the way, with a bag of miniature marshmallows in each arm.
“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3