I Choo Choose Trust

Today I took the three littles to lunch at a somewhat iconic Chicago suburban diner. The Choo Choo has been serving families for 64 years. While the food is typical diner fare, the real draw is the little electric train that delivers food from the kitchen to the table. What fun for kids!

I don’t think I’ve been to the Choo Choo since I was Mack’s age. I have a hazy memory of being there with my Papa. Maybe on my birthday?  I remember being so excited to watch the little train exit the kitchen en route to a lucky diner. Mack’s enthusiasm echoed mine – he never took his eyes off the track!

When the waitress set down the check and I reached for my credit card, she sweetly informed me that they only take cash. Eeeeek. The bill totaled $27, but I only had $25 in my wallet.  In an instant, this nightmare scenario flashed through my brain: driving around an unfamiliar town looking for an ATM, pulling three kids out of the car and into the freezing air, marching them into a random liquor store or quickie mart, keeping them corralled while I punched in my PIN, hauling them back to the restaurant so I could pay our bill…

I swear, the waitress read my mind (or sensed my immediate panic). She told me not to worry – I could send a personal check.

What the what?!

That waitress had never seen me before and didn’t know if she’d ever hear from me again, but she trusted me to be virtuous and fair.  I love love love when the benefit of the doubt is given. I love love love when honesty wins. I love love love when the world feels small even though it is so huge.  I love love love that my kids witnessed an act of pure trust and generosity from a total stranger.

I dropped the check in the mail this evening.

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1 Comment for this entry

  1. Mary says:

    Long live the Choo Choo!!!!

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