This past Sunday was a beautiful day for a visit to the Central Park Zoo. Before we entered the zoo, my seven year old Godson wanted to get a balloon sword. He chose a black one, because he said it was shinier. I had forgotten that the zoo doesn’t allow you to bring balloons inside. So we proceeded to put it in the plastic bag along with the rest of swords and animal shaped balloons that other kids had left behind.
We walked around for a few hours. When we were leaving, JJ went to get his sword, but it wasn’t there. That was the first time that this had happened to us. He put his head down and looked disappointed. “Why would they take a kid’s sword?” He asked me. We looked in the bag again. There were pink and orange swords, but no black.
I took his hand, and said, “A child might have taken the wrong sword, or someone took it, but let’s not take any. We will be responsible for another child’s sadness.” He looked up at me, and said, “Yessy, you’re right. I don’t want another kid to feel sad like me. I’m really sad. It was the perfect black sword!”
The balloon vendor was still there when we came out. I gave JJ a dollar, and told him to get another sword. We walked out of the park, and headed to the subway. His short term sadness was gone. He kept saying that he was glad that he didn’t make another kid sad.
Once in the subway, I couldn’t find my metro card. I looked in all three bags that I was carrying. I finally gave up, and was about to purchase another one when a couple approached me and gave me theirs. “It’s good until next week,” the young woman said to me. I looked at her skeptically, and asked her how much. “Don’t worry. We are done. We are leaving town tonight,” she said, and put it in my hand.
I thanked her. They walked away. I reached into my pocket and found my metro card. However, I realized later that it had insufficient funds. JJ was happy because he felt lucky that day. He had found ten dollars earlier. I told him that he was my lucky charm.
We continued with our day, and headed to the park where he played with the sword, and asked me to take care of it at all times.
The next morning, I realized the lessons that we had both learned. People are kind, and when you least expect it they will come give you things just because it’s in their hearts. I practice this myself often as I believe in the cycle of giving and receiving.
Most importantly, I taught my Godson to not do to someone else the wrong that has been done to us. We have the power to end all types of wrong cycles –small and big ones alike. It’s a lesson that is hard to practice, especially for a child, and even more difficult to those of us that have been wronged time and time again. It’s not about two wrongs don’t make a right for me– it’s about let it end with me.
I understood as JJ did too, that our deed was compensated fifty times back that day. As I write this post, we are discussing this lesson. One that he says he understands well.