A mom was about to teach her daughter about graceful losing. Then she had a better idea.
Even the most fun places on Earth can be dicey for parents of young children.
Take the carnival, for example. Yes, it's full of rides and music and lights and delicious snacks, but it's also a minefield of tantrum traps. One misstep here could cause your toddler to erupt.
That's nearly what happened to mom Brea Schmidt and her daughter when they hit up a fair in their hometown of Cleveland.
When Schmidt got home, she shared the doozy of a story on Facebook.
Schmidt's 5-year-old daughter was hooked on a carnival game, trying to win a bright pink "Poppy" doll.
Mom gave her dollar after dollar to try to win the toy, but alas, luck was not on their side that night.
Schmidt decided to call it, figuring this would be a good time to teach her daughter how to lose gracefully and how no matter how hard we try, we can't always get what we want.
Then, a stranger stepped in with a kind offer. (It's not quite what you think).
Schmidt explains in her now-viral post:
"Then I heard the voice of a fellow mom who saw my daughter's tears and had been watching her open all of those tickets with excitement.
She says, 'You know what, honey, I have a dollar and I'm going to give it another try for you.'
My girl speed-lifted her head off my shoulder and started twirling her hands the way she does when she's excited.
The woman grabbed a dollar from her personal wallet, snags the three-for-$1 ticket from the bucket of tickets... and no joke opened a winning ticket.
The look on my daughter's face was the absolute best. Nothing but pure, 5-year-old thrill shining through the leftover tears and snot on her face."
The girl was overjoyed, and Schmidt's picture showed her sleeping with the doll that night, in a state of pure bliss.
Last night my girl was playing a game at the church festival in my hometown... trying desperately to win a Poppy doll by...Posted by The Thinking Branch on Friday, July 21, 2017
"So maybeeeeee we missed the 'you don't always get what you want lesson' last night," Schmidt wrote. "We'll save that one for another day."
That doesn't mean her daughter learned nothing. She learned an arguably even more powerful lesson: kindness, and the power of simple acts of generosity to light up another person's day.
Some may say the other mom overstepped, but Schmidt doesn't see it that way.
"Her gesture was not about overstepping," she writes in a Facebook message. "She was acting from her heart out of kindness for me and my child... and not out of judgement. I think my own heart was just open that day, and that reminded me that I need to keep it open more often and not just assume that people are out to offend or judge us."
We all agree that teaching our kids to be kind and generous is one of the most important jobs parents have. Let's just remember that though there are many harsh lessons for them to learn, the best way kids learn to be kind to others is to experience it themselves.