Zachary's lesson in economics has a post script.
Late this afternoon we made a long-awaited trip to Target so Zach could spend all his birthday money (minus what he so generously donated to Mom & Dad's dating fund via the sweep pile) on a new Wii game. He had saved $47.19 for this purchase, which we figured would be enough for the $45 game.
However, when Zach breathlessly ran up to the display case, he was dismayed to discover that the game was not $45.00, but $49.99. Bummer. He looked at the sign, and then whined, "Aw, man!" I asked again how much money was burning a hole in his wallet. He told me. And he knew it wasn't enough. Just as we were about to walk away, a man standing near us said, "Here...I'll help you out."
And out of his wallet he pulled three dollar bills. Zach just stared at him. So did I. Was a random stranger really doing this? Zach wasn't sure whether to take the money, but the man obviously wanted to make him happy, so I gave him a little nod. I didn't even have to prompt a "thank you" from Zachary's lips. I added my own profuse thanks and we parted ways.
Experiences like this reinforce my faith in the human race. There are good people in the world...good people who are kind and generous and eager to meet the needs of their fellow men. That's not a lesson I planned to teach my son today, but I'm so glad he learned it.