Saturday, December 20, 2008
I Just Wasn't Paying Attention
Over the past month I have been in and out of the mall about half a dozen times, doing some Christmas shopping. I always go in and out the same door so I can remember where I parked my car. As I walked by, I noticed a small group of marines standing by the entrance, wearing their camouflage uniforms. I was a little curious about what they were doing there... were they waiting for a ride? Just sitting and chatting? I saw them there several times, but never looked closely. Yesterday, I saw there was one lone marine sitting there. Then I noticed a small pile of toys next to him. Then I saw the sign lying on the ground... Toys for Tots. Why hadn't they made the sign more visible? I hadn't noticed it before. Then I felt really bad, thinking of all the times I had passed them, not knowing they were there to collect toys.
I had some packages in my car, and among them was a toy I was planning to return to the store. It was for one of my nieces, who had been requesting this toy for a while. The day before, I had shown it to my sister and she told me "oh, she already got that toy, for her birthday". So, I was planning to take it back. However, when I saw the tiny pile of toys the marine had collected, I decided to go back to my car and get the package. Instead of returning it to the store, I gave it to him for Toys for Tots. He said it was the last day of the toy drive, and he was only going to be there for another half hour or so. It turns out I got this toy turned in at the very last minute.
I would have been glad to drop off more toys earlier if I had paid attention to what they were doing. My nieces have more toys than they know what to do with, and I was reminded that some kids have none. What was I thinking? I felt guilty for ignoring them all the times before, but I was happy that I at least got one toy in at the last minute.