Thursday, October 24, 2013

An Amazing Conversation

Today, "B" and I had an amazing conversation at Jiffy Lube, of all places.  

A little bit of background...he has recently experienced homelessness and unfortunately we see behaviors that indicate that he has gone hungry.  He has some definite insecurity about where his next meal will come from, and tends to stuff himself to bursting and sneak and hide food.  We are working through this in several ways- by letting him eat his fill, giving him free reign of the healthy snack drawer and reassuring him that the rule at our house is NOBODY GOES HUNGRY.  We show him the money in our wallets, put him in charge of the shopping list and take him with us to buy groceries.  He seems to be growing less fearful, but obviously it will take a while for him to trust that food will always be there.

So with that in mind, picture us with our noses pressed to the glass at Jiffy Lube, watching the men change the oil in our van.  

"Why they doing that?"
"Because we need new oil in our van to keep it running."
"But why THEY do it?"
"Because they are experts...they know a lot about cars and oil changes."
"But why they do it for your car?"
"Well, because it is their job."
"Their job...they get paid to do it."
"What's paid?"
"Money.  They get money for fixing our car."
"REAL MONEY?  What they do with the money?"
"Well, they can use it buy food, pay for their house, buy things..."

At this point his eyes were as big as saucers and I could see his brain working.  He just kept asking me over and over about jobs and money and getting paid.  I don't think this child has been around many people who are routinely employed, and it had certainly never occurred to him before that HE could someday have a job and earn his own money.  

Can you imagine what a concept it must be to a child who has gone hungry to learn that he has the power to get money and buy his own food?  Or at least that he will in the future?  How empowering that must feel!


  1. Wow. How old is he? The things we take for granted...

  2. Oh. Wow. What a blessing for this child to experience a healthy working life.