Yesterday, I experienced something that saddened me and I wanted to share it with all of you. As my son and I parked the car outside of Ikea, I noticed a young man, who looked a bit worn, stopping people. I thought he was just another homeless man begging for money, but the look on his face told me otherwise. I then saw a baby carriage and the mother, who was nearby attempting to feed the baby. She also looked like she could use a hot shower, a good meal and help to lift the two hundred pound weight off her shoulders, apparent by her expression.
As I unloaded my two year old, I watched as people talked to this man and then proceeded to hand him money. I was intrigued and wanted to know more. My son and I proceeded to the store and on our way, looked in the stroller and commented how cute the little boy was. I was hoping the mother would smile and experience joy, even for a few seconds. My plan worked but as I walked away, the twinkle in her eyes faded and turned back to stress and worry. While shopping, I couldn’t shake the feeling of heartache and soon left the store.
The family was still in the area where I parked my car. It was very obvious this couple was in desperate need of assistance and I wanted to help. As the mother of three, I cannot imagine the feeling of not being able to provide for your young child. The possibility of not knowing when his next meal will come, not having a safe and cozy place for him to sleep, or not having a clean diaper to provide, makes me sick to my stomach. As I saw them approaching me, I went into my trunk and started to gather items I thought they might need. The gentleman began telling me when he woke up, he was so stressed out and didn’t know what to do because a family argument had caused them to be homeless. They needed $180 dollars to rent a room for the week and many of the Ikea shoppers had so graciously been helping him to reach his goal. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any cash on me accept a bunch of change. It wasn’t about the money, which I rarely like to give, since you never know what it will be spent on. I took a look at that crying baby and my heart truly ached. I began handing him all of my extra baby supplies I keep in my trunk for emergencies. I had a bunch of diapers, luckily in the right size, and a burp cloth that I gladly handed over. They were so happy and thankful and said that with everyone’s support, he knows g-d is watching over him and his family.
I wanted to do more. I wished I had 100 diapers, formula, blankets and clothing to offer them. At that moment, I wished for a drugstore to appear so I could buy them what they so desperately needed. That poor baby was drinking what looked like brown formula or chocolate milk. I did what I could, told them I hoped he would find his way and drove off, feeling sad, yet blessed for everything my family has. What would come of this family?
I never judged these people and thought about what had brought them to this point. Whether it really was a family argument, drugs or bad decisions, this baby was innocent and needed everyone’s help. I have thought about him often today. When I opened my fridge to pour my son milk this morning, I wondered what the baby was drinking. As I packed lunch boxes for camp, I wondered if the family would eat today. I am writing this because we often judge someone when we see them holding up a sign or asking for money. We may think they deserve to be where they are because of their poor choices, but the truth is we all make bad decisions in our lives. Unfortunately, some have more devastating consequences than others.
Hopefully this family will be inspired and motivated by everyone’s kindness to do whatever it takes to get back on their feet, especially for the sake of their beautiful innocent baby boy. Hopefully you will be inspired next time you come across a family in need.
TOGETHER WE CAN MASTER MOTHERHOOD!™