I’m thankful for a job that provides for basic needs; (even if it occasionally raises my stress level into the stratosphere) and that my children also have jobs.
This year, need has hit our children at school harder than usual. There are more needy children this year. Two weeks ago, my son purchased a lantern-type flashlight with extra batteries for a family here who didn’t have electricity. The little girl was unable to do her homework after the time change because by the time they had eaten and tended to the little ones, it was too dark to read and write.
Over the weekend my daughter-in-law gathered up clothing from my granddaughters that didn’t fit any longer, and I brought those to school on Monday. Along with donations from other teachers, they are sorted and stacked in a metal cabinet designed for books and school supplies in the social worker’s office. Today the social worker told this story.
Two little girls with opposite problems ended up waiting in her office at the same time. One child has been the caretaker for an alcoholic mother who is now in rehab. The child has been staying with relatives nearby, but a favorite aunt is going to take her over Thanksgiving and they will go to a mall to shop.
The other little girl is one who has been without gas and electricity for more than a month. Her mother just had a new baby. The child has come to the social worker for referrals for food and clothing as well. Both girls asked if they could peruse the clothing.
When they discover some new underwear they think is “cool” the child anticipating the mall visit begins to talk. She’s so excited that she will be in a mall. She can’t remember ever visiting a mall before. She wonders aloud what it will look like and what the stores will look like. For as long as she can remember, she and her mother have always shopped at resale shops. She wonders aloud if there will be things as cool as the stuff here, except more?
The second little girl finds a Gap logo sweatshirt that she likes. Holding it up to herself she responds that she’s never been to a mall either. She says she thinks it has nice stuff like this, but very expensive. Then she discovers a Dora blanket that she thinks would be very nice for her three-year-old brother who’s a bit jealous of the new baby.
I don’t know how the social worker kept a straight face as she told the pair to come back right after school and she’d have a bag ready for each to take home. I got teary when she told me about it, and again now.
With tears running down my face, once again I repeat:
I’m VERY thankful for a job and that my children have jobs.
And I pray: God, please help us to remember the people who REALLY need Christmas presents this Christmas.