Monday, May 08, 2006

On Sunday


On Sunday, after church, we went to a local Wendy's for lunch, with my son and one of his daughters. After we got seated and began to eat, I watched 3 young boys (about 12-13) who had come in with in-line skates on, but took them off and placed them under some tables.

Two of the boys went up to the counter to order food. They sat at a separate tables, but close to each other. I ate my meal, and surreptitiously watched them. One of the boys gave the foodless one the tomato off his hamburger and a few fries. Then the other boy gave that one the lettuce from his sandwich. He ate very quickly, and sat patiently, as though waiting.

Finally, the first boy gave one half of his burger to the kid with no food. He ate quickly, almost inhaling the sandwich. Then the second boy gave half of his food to him. He ate it all, quietly, not saying a word that I could hear or see. Just when I thought they were leaving, the first boy bought another hamburger, and split it with the other kid.

That scene has stayed with me for 2 days. I was so impressed with the kids who gave up their food to the other one, who obviously could not afford to buy anything. But what I now wish, is that I had bought a meal and given it to him. Why did that not occur to me until well after we had left the restaurant?

What would you have done?

28 comments:

Chancy said...

I probably would have done just what you did. But the thoughtful gesture you mentioned would have been nice too.

Merle said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Da Gal said...

I've seen something similar before and I happened to be in line paying for my meal when this happened so I payed for the kids meal too. The good news is.. you see this as an opportunity and now your eyes are open. You will be trusted with another opportunity - it simply works that way.

mar said...

Tough situation. I probably would have watched just like you and have the thoughtful idea once the kids were gone...

Star said...

That was a heartwarmer! Sounds like the boys had it all under control in their own way. It was probably best you didn't interfere. I'd like to shake the hands of the parents who raised those two boys!

Merle said...

Hi Judy ~~ What a nice story of boys
looking after their friend. So often
we only hear bad stories, but this was
great. They may have been embarrassed
had you offered a meal. They did well.
We have millions of kangaroos in Australia and they are a pest to farmers
when they eat their crops etc.
I don't like to see them killed on the roads. Take care, Merle.

Peter said...

I think most of us would have done as you did Judy, and not even have had that after thought you did.
Lovely roses below.

art-sweet said...

Hey Judy,

Perhaps you could ask the cashier at the Wendy's if those boys come there often? And if so, leave some money so that the next time they come in, the meal is paid for?

Depends on a lot of trust of the Wendy's employees, I guess.

Here from Michele's today!

kenju said...

Art-sweet, that is a great idea! If you saw the employees at this Wendy's, you might be loathe to leave any money with them.

goldenlucyd said...

I agree about the "help" at lots of fast-food joints. Not sure where they find folks who can simulaneously convey both surliness and apathy.
I don't think I'd have done anything to draw attention to the boy. Those kids were practicing something best done without help from an adult.
What a pleasure to see that in a world filled with so much greed and selfishness. Out of the mouths of babes, so to speak!
lucyd

goldenlucyd said...

I agree about the "help" at lots of fast-food joints. Not sure where they find folks who can simulaneously convey both surliness and apathy.
I don't think I'd have done anything to draw attention to the boy. Those kids were practicing something best done without help from an adult.
What a pleasure to see that in a world filled with so much greed and selfishness. Out of the mouths of babes, so to speak!
lucyd

ET said...

Judy,
I would have felt the same way you do, and afterwards, also, I would have thought, "Why didn't I buy the boy a meal?"
I always get those thoughts after it is too late.

AC said...

The thing is that now you and we can be more aware and perhaps act quickly.

I heard a story of a man who was eating at a restaurant where another man, in military uniform, was dining with his own family. The one man summoned the manager and paid for the meal of the military family anonymously. When the bill was requested, the manager told the Marine his was paid for with thanks for his service to his country.

I know if I can get that chance to do the same or similar I am going to. And now I'll be on the lookout for hungry kids as well.

ET said...

P.S. During my youngest sister's formative years she worked at a Wendy's. She said there were several people, young and old, who would come by to eat and it was generally understood by the Wendy's employees and the poor that no money would change hands.
She said certain people would come in 2 or 3 times a week, and from the person who would ring it up to the manager would more or less turn their heads. If cops can come in and get a free meal with dignity I think the poor should too.

bornfool said...

As the story progressed I thought you were going to say that you bought him a meal. Next time,my friend.

PI said...

I would have lovedto see the boys behaving like this - wouldn't want to draw attention to the hard-up boy. If I felt brave enough would have had a chat and treated them all to a drink maybe.

Terri said...

Oh, Judy...what a special post and I could visualize all of it in my mind as I read it.
It's a touchy thing...because you wouldn't want to make the one who couldn't afford it feel bad. So I'm not sure...my thought would have been to purchase something for him and say, "I thought you might enjoy this" as I left. But I honestly don't know if I would have, as I wouldn't want to embarrass him.
AND...isn't it amazing what we SEE when we take the time to pay attention? I'm also VERY impressed with the other 2 boys ability to share.

moon said...

I read this story outloud to my fiancee...we both said the same thing, that we probably would have done the same as you and think of it later, athough we wish we could say differently...Your story however will certainly help in trying to make a difference one day if the occasion arises.

srp said...

I agree that the boys were great and had it under control. They didn't want their friend to be embarrassed and probably he would have been had you stepped in. Some other opportunity will arise.

cassie-b said...

I probably would have watched, and been sorry not to have done something later. It's nice to hear a story about nice kids. The not so nice ones seem to hog the press.

Cas

Wordnerd said...

That breaks my heart. I would have done exactly what you did -- I have a tendency to not let situations sink in completely until it's too late. and I'd have been writing about it two days later, like you, because I wouldn't be able to erase it from my mind.

YellowRose said...

What a great thing to witness, especially in today's society when they say that today's youth is not caring and is just out for themselves. Having been a youth leader in church for years, I would hope I would have seen the situation and bought the kid a meal.

BTW: You asked me why I moved (my blog), I wanted to have my own domain name...and switch to Wordpress, eventually I will be changing my template too...but one step at a time! ;)

Jamie Dawn said...

That's what good friends do. How nice of those boys to be good friends to their buddy.
I would have offered to buy him a meal.

Maria said...

If the boys did not share, I would have bought the hungry boy a hamburger, but your careful observance was the right thing to do because it allowed the boys to take the initiative and to learn about sharing. I am so glad there are so many caring kids. We just usually hear about the other kind.

road apples said...

Don't worry about it Judy, you made up for it by serving us a delicious kid's meal of a story - thanks.

Malinda777 said...

You know Judy, I've had this experience more than once in my city. I live in Reno (casino town), and some "homeless" roam the streets.

I really hate the ones that beg for money, and when you offer them something else, they scurry and scorn.

However, I have left downtown with my "doggie bag" from one of the steak houses more than once, and on my way to the car been approached for money for the hungry. A couple of times, I've replied, "I don't have money, but would you like this left over filet mignon and asparagus?". Twice, I've had an eager taker and felt nice that I might have really helped someone who wasn't a mooch.

Carolyn said...

Now that is heartwarming & reassuring that not all kids are selfish and thoughtless toward each other. Bravo for them!!

I've offered change at the counter before when a kid or adult didn't have quite enough. I remember a couple times as a kid myself when a stranger helped me out when I lacked a few cents at the cash register :)

aka_monty said...

I'm thoughtless sometimes (okay, very frequently), and I would've become involved in the watching and not thought about getting the kid something.

But it seems as though his friends are taking care of him. :)
Most excellent.