Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Homelessness is not acceptable.

Yesterday, I shared with you our Library Monday story. 

For those that missed it. Essentially, it is a story about questions. Toddler questions. Those questions that noone {I repeat noone} is able to escape, including our poor librarian. As a result of these toddler questions, we are on a one month library detention {enforced by me}. 

Oh, the shame! 

Today, there were more questions. 

But today, I was not ashamed. 

No, today, I was proud of the toddler question. So proud, I shed a tear.

This toddler question came as we were walking out of our local Woolworths. By the door was a young homeless man. He had collected a few dollars from people passing. He had a handwritten sign stating he was without a bed and needed food. 

He looked untidy. A little bit gruff. Perhaps, a little scary in a toddlers eyes. 

As we walked hand in hand, I could see Noah processing the man in front of him. I knew the questions were coming. I braced. 

Noah stopped in front of the man. 

He looked down at the money and asked the man "why do you have that money?"

The man looked up. He had a beard, blue steel eyes, a creased brow and a sad frown. He looked at Noah and replied that it was for somewhere to sleep tonight. 

He told Noah, "I dont have a bed". 

Noah was listening.

And with the innocence of a child, he said:

"You can stay in my bed, if you waant?"

He looked up at me and asked:

"Marma, can he?" 

I was lost for words.

The young man put his head down. I think he might have smiled. I can't be sure. I smiled. We left the man with a few coins. Hardly enough. 

As we walked, I tried my best to explain homelessness to my 3 year old child, but how do you explain to a toddler that a person has no bed, or house? No family. The very things that keep him warm and make him feel safe and loved. 

And how do you tell a toddler that we as a society accept this? 

Too many questions. Not enough answers. 

And so tonight, as I tucked him in bed, I gave him an extra tight cuddle. 

My beautiful superhero. May we always have each other.

Good night to you all, 

Love Jo xxx