The Homeless Man

Slowly, our little one’s innocence will be tempered with lessons about the hardships of the world.

On a drive home this weekend, we stopped at a red light and a disshelved man approached each car, with a cup in his hands.

We found two loonies in our car and I rolled down the window and put it in his cup.

T asked why he did that, so I explained the man was asking for money and it was important to help others when we are able to.

He asked why the man asked for money.

To keep it simple for a 7 year old, I explained the man was probably homeless.

“What does homeless mean?” He asked.

I explained that it means he probably doesn’t have a home to live in, which means he doesn’t have things that T has, like a bed, shower, or toilet.

“So he poos on the ground?” T asked in a bewildered tone.

The matter of fact way he said it made me chuckle, because it reinforced just how innocent his view of the world is.

The hubby explained he probably has to use a public washroom or borrow one at a restaurant.

T agreed that it was sad.

I often think about how fortunate we are that T has an innocent childhood.

As he gets older, he will undoubtedly be exposed to the uglier realities of the world.

As his parent, I want to hang onto his innocence, while providing him with the skills and knowledge to face those realities with grace and to do his part to making this world better.

The hubby then told T that his birth mother is also homeless and that was why she was not able to take care of him.

The suddenness caught me off guard but I appreciated the hubby using the conversation to share this story – as we try to find opportunities to slowly piece T’s story in his mind.

As with the other times when we talked about his birth mother, T took the news in silently.

We sat quietly in the car for the next few minutes, listening to music and watching the beautiful sunshine outside.

11 thoughts on “The Homeless Man

  1. Wow what a great way to handle this situation. The first time I had a homeless person ask for money, the person in my car responded “Get a job!”. I was so embarrassed and will never forget it. I hope T never forgets how generous you were Ab. Kudos to another great life lesson for T. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. While I also find the person in your car’s response to be inappropriate, I can see why some people would generally have that response. It is so easy to think that people are on the streets by choice but often times, the reasons are very sad.

      I’m not able to help every single person I pass by but it was important in that moment to model a good behaviour for our very impressionable little one.

      So much sadness in the world when we really open our eyes to them. So important to focus on the positive moments too. Thanks Diane!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s always tough to answer some of the hard questions, especially when they are unexpected. I think you and hubby did an amazing job at handling the question about homelessness and to use it as an opportunity to be honest and open with T about his background. So often people want to paint a rosy picture of life, which is great, but it’s good to have some balance. I also love how curious T is. He’s asking these questions because he cares and he’s interested, which is always a good thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Linda. We are very thankful about how inquisitive he is. He never shuts up but asks good questions. 🙂

      First day of three week vacation today! So nice to not have to use my brain today.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, what an interesting segue! I like the approach to tell a bit of the story as it arises and then wait for questions. It is so fascinating and a little heartbreaking to expose our children to the realities of the world but I love how kindly you do it. Beautiful, Ab!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Wynne. Definitely not a segue I expected but a good call from the hubby. Kids are so wise and open to the world when we lay it to them straight, I find – and glad this teachable moments was one that he was open to.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. You’re right about context and there is no time like the present. He often absorbs things silently and then randomly brings it up later. We’ll be ready when he does. 🙏

      Liked by 2 people

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