I took my son out for lunch today while the spouse and daughter were getting their hair did. While we were munching on hot dogs a member of our senior community sneaks up on me rather swiftly and asks if my kid can have a stuffed animal. My first question was “What kind of stuffed animal is it?” Since he wasn’t holding one. He replies: “The one that’s out in my trunk.”
Well, putting the words “my child, stuffed animal and trunk” in the same conversation gave me a little boost of anxiety adrenaline. He never made eye contact or bantered about my son or anything. The fact that my son was sizing him up didn’t help his cause either. I politely said “Oh, no thank you, we have too many as it is”. Before I could finish my apology he was off to the next table that contained a child.
There were five other parents who accepted the offer. I being the only one who didn’t. I watched him go out to his trunk while other parents nervously laughed about what was going on. His license plate revealed that he was a veteran, so I felt a little ungrateful at this point. He opened his trunk and proceeded to pull out
a large broadsword some Ty beanie babies. He then distributed them to those who accepted, quickly tossing them to the parents then sitting down to his table. Then, I felt confused when he sat down with a ethically diverse, tattooed, pierced and far younger group than himself.
I would like to live in a period of time where this kind of generosity is common place. However, you never know who’s going to put gps tracker, hidden camera, razor blade or needle on the inside of a stuffed animal that is handed to you by a deranged lunatic with an agenda. We have to teach our kids not to talk and or receive gifts from strangers in these kind of awkward situations. Doing so breaks down their guard and a level of protection against strangers. The fact that my son didn’t get upset about it makes me feel justified in my decision.