Lessons on the Homeless

The kids and some friends and I took a trip to the ballpark tonight. The Sidewinders are moving to Reno due to low attendance. On the one hand it’s unfortunate that we are losing this wholesome family opportunity, on the other it’s the low attendance that permits me to give the kids free range in a pubic arena. I could see them at any given time – almost.

They asked if they could ride the kiddie train and I said okay. At one point along the way, they saw “a very nice homeless guy” who said hello to them and gave them the peace sign. The kids hurried to me to ask for a dollar so that they could give it to him.

I can’t say that Jesse and I have been positive role models in terms of our giving. We do have our responsible cash charities that we don’t discuss with the kids. What they do see us do is give food to the beggars on street medians and Jesse will frequently throw MREs to the loiterers at the park. They also have seen us give cash without question to folks on the street. As an aside, Jesse and I went to see Gat Rot the other night, and on the way to the car we gave $5 to a local who promised to “only spend it on weed.”

Regardless of how Jesse and I enable those meekest of God’s addicted, crazed, poor, or otherwise afflicted children, I cannot condone my babies and their pal approaching a homeless guy, no matter how nice he seems, to give him a dollar. “Then you come with us to give it to him,” suggested my little problem solvers. “Uh, aren’t you guys thirsty? How about you go get some water?” It was $1.75 more than their charitable intention and highlighted my obvious laziness, but also my expertise at diversion.

The kids went on a final train ride to see their homeless pal. The boys waived peace signs; George yelled “HEY, YOU’RE NICE!” Isn’t that almost as good as $1? Plus, the guy was enjoying the game from the other side of the fence for free, so it was a good night for him already. Leaving the park after the game we drove along the fence where the homeless man had been enjoying the game. Disappointed in not seeing the guy, the kids embarked on a discussion during which my son said, “And all he wanted was peace. Homeless people are like that. They just want peace.”

Now for another aside. All this goodwill came from three kids who spent the bulk of their post-homeless guy waiving time engaged in verbal fisticuffs with two other kids at the ballpark.

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