Some kids spend their whole lives dreaming of a trip to Disney World. I know I did. I was in my 20s and a mother by the time I made it. So you may be surprised to hear a 9-year-old boy who earned a trip to Disney World was more than willing to give away every kid's dream.
But Brendan Haas isn't just any 9-year-old boy. He's a kid who heard that many fallen soldiers leave behind young kids when they die while serving our country. And he wanted to give them something special. What could be better really than a trip to Disney?
I hate to sound like I'm giving an ad spiel for the happiest place on earth, but Haas' plan to give away his trip hit me in a way I didn't expect. I remember dreaming of Disney when I was a kid. With each passing year that we didn't go there, its mystical powers grew in my mind. I just knew that there was magic there, if only I could make it. Every January I'd return to school after Christmas break to see more pictures from more kids who'd made the pilgrimage to kid heaven, and grow more depressed.
Like it or not, the trip to Disney is a rite of passage. It's a marker for so many kids' childhoods. I don't begrudge my parents anything for not taking us -- they had a lot of bills to pay, and they did what they could for us, including trips to vacation spots closer to home.
Brendan can't take away the pain that Timothy Steele's wife and daughter are going through since he died in Afghanistan last year. But by giving up something so special for the sake of another kid, he's given a little girl a moment in her life she will always hold close.
It doesn't get more magical than that, huh? Oh wait, but it does: little Brendan planned this from the get-go. He set up an elaborate "trading up" scheme for bigger and better things, eventually earning a trip to Disney, with the plan that it WOULD go to a soldier's family.
What do you think of Brendan's gift to this family?
Image via RichardStep.com/Flickr