F. and I load up the shopping cart and wheel it towards the door.
“Stop,” I call out. F.’s a few steps in front of me racing towards the parking lot. I dig through our plastic bags and pull out a package of markers.
“Will you put that in there?” I point towards a large cardboard box labeled “School Supply Collection Box.”
F. skips back to me, grabs the markers and drops them into the box.
“What if the store just does that and really puts them back on the shelves?” he asks.
“I like to think that they don’t,” I start. “I like to think the store makes sure kids who need school supplies get them.”
“But they might not,” he counters. Ah, my cynic.
“Maybe,” I concede. “But here’s the thing. Most people in the world are good people with good intentions.” I pause to see if he’s listening. “Give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove you wrong.”
He considers this and slowly nods his head before saying, “OK.”
For a boy who finds fault and unfairness around every corner, I consider his admission a victory.