My kids and I have been homeless, twice. And I use that term loosely, bc to me, we were cushy homeless. I wasn’t in my car or park bench with my babies. I was couch surfing and ultimately ended up in a family homeless shelter the first time. The second time we were in motels and my moms house until our apartment was ready after we had a fire. My kids know a small amount of what it’s like to be uncomfortable, not have a ton of food around, not have ready access to clean clothes or their own bed etc. But, I wouldn’t say that they truly know what it means to be homeless or chronically hungry or go completely without. We are truly blessed to have amazing friends, some supportive family (and a ton of community programs we can use and do use when we need to). We’ve definitely had some crazy and shitty things happen, we’ve had pain and turmoil. Was it easy? Hell no. Was it hard ? Of course it was! But I still think there’s more we can learn, more I can model and teach my kids than our own experience. Which is why last weekend and this weekend I took LS with me to our local service center where a fellow chapter of Free Hot Soup was serving lunch, and we helped out. Afterward we loaded our van with as many leftovers as possible and send mobile with hot soup, sandwiches, bread, salads and beverages. BB, LB, DH and our recent addition Raven(a 4 year old Black Lab-Pei) came along. It was great. We all enjoyed feeding our hungry community members and I really believe my kids got a good dose of reality, compassion and what it feels like to meet someone’s most basic needs, and not worry about your owm for a minute. I was especially proud of LS bc she spent 3 hours with me serving at the service center putting cream cheese on a ton of bagels, wiping tables, greeting patrons and anything else we needed her to do, with a smile and a wave. One of the grandpa types quietly left her a pile of candy near her work station when she wasn’t looking. It was sweet.
It was truly amazing to see my somewhat reserved 8 year old blossom and thrive in this environment. She asked when we can go back. So tomorrow we go again 🙂
Glad to be instilling some good character in my kids and glad to be giving back to a community that’s so graciously given much to us.
Everyone’s a bit cold and cranky here, hut I promise there were lots of smiles too.