By Angela Noel
December 1, 2016
One night, a couple of guys went to McDonald’s for dinner. Already, it was a special event.
The younger of the two went to the restroom, emerging just in time for their chicken nuggets and Big Mac to arrive. On his way back to the table, his hands still wet from washing, he noticed something.
An elderly gentleman had dropped a coin on the ground. The young man picked it up, “Here you go,” he said. “You dropped this.”
“Thank you, son.” The gentleman covered the coin with his blue-veined hand, while the young man sat down at the table where his best adult friend, Paul, waited.
The man shuffled over to the table where Paul and seven-year-old Jackson sat. “Okay if I give your son something?” he asked.
“Sure.” Paul had long ago given up explaining that Jackson isn’t technically his son. Love, as you know, makes labels irrelevant.
Into his bag, Santa Claus style, the fellow pulled out a handmade contraption.
Made of wood, scraps of utility carpet, and marble tiles, the rectangular box was a counting game. Two dice completed the gift. With eager words, the man explained the game, flipping the handwritten numbered tiles up and down with each roll. Boy and man played a round or two.
The second grader, chicken nuggets forgotten, looked up at the stranger whose coin he’d found and returned. “Thank you!” he said, smiling his gap-toothed grin.
“You’re welcome.” A smile lit the old man’s eyes and lifted wrinkled, bewhiskered cheeks.
Guy’s nights are always fun for Paul and Jack, but this one was a little bit something more.
Your turn: What do you think of this man’s gesture? Have you experienced something similar in your own life?
6 thoughts on “A Particularly Special Guy’s Night”
Hi Angela! Our granddaughter Amelia was given that game by the same man at McDonald’s a couple years ago. Forgot all about it. She is having trouble with math right now so thanks for reminding us! Happy holidays!!!
Thanks, Katie! I loved the way Jack’s face lit up when he told the story to me afterwards. Such little things can have such a great impact.
Jackson is that special soul that sees the good and shares it. Both Jack and the gentleman showed kindness and joy in a chance encounter. And both have a story to tell.
So true! I think this fellow makes a point of offering kids like Jackson the opportunity to show kindness, and rewards them when they do. Such simple lessons from community members outside our immediate families are incredible gifts.
Not only do I love it when a stranger gives an unexpected ‘gift’ of a coin or a toy or a smile, I try to be one of those strangers, too. I find that if a small child is sitting in a stroller or in a mom’s lap and just looking around, and I stare into her eyes and give a wide smile, the child lights up like the sunshine on a cloudy day. Lifts me up for the rest of the day. 🙂
I’m so glad to hear you take that extra moment. I think, when I have the chance to have an unexpected encounter with a fellow human, it’s like a gift from the universe. Makes me want to do a little more, be a little kinder, every day.