Last week I ran to a dollar store to pick up some supplies for our NYE party. It was bitterly cold and windy. Jack tagged along, hoping to score some sweets or other booty, like he does every time I go shopping.
As we left the shop I noticed a young lady of about 20 yrs, with a toddler and about 20 shopping bags at her feet. She was on her phone and looked upset. The toddler was sniffling and looked cold and miserable. I looked at her and knew I had to help, so when she got off the phone I asked if she needed a ride somewhere. She was so relieved and thankful that she nearly cried. We drove them home to a run-down apartment block with boarded up windows in a rough part of town and we helped carry her groceries up to the 3rd floor. She had just moved to town from the country and didn't know anyone other than her husband, who was at work. She had walked over 2 miles on a bitterly cold day with her 16 month old daughter to buy food. She's living in a dump and my heart ached for her when I said goodbye & drove away.
On the way home Jack was pretty quiet and thoughtful, which is completely out of character for my chatterbox. We talked about how fortunate we are as a family to have each other, to be safe and warm and have food. Even though he helps me feed the homeless each month I think it's the first time he's truly seen how some families live and how hard they have it. At aged 10 I'm fairly sure he isn't going to lose much sleep over it, since children generally have no concept of empathy or needs beyond their own. But I'm hopeful that he has an understanding at least of how fortunate he is and how to treat other people, given the chance.
I haven't shared this story with anyone other than Craig because it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn. But I want to share it now because I want to let people know that showing kindness and love to someone less fortunate can be a beautiful thing, and not something to be fearful of.