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So…I planned on writing a post about the fun and mess that we made while tie-dying shirts today, but my daughter unexpectantly invited a friend to join us and I found that the most memorable thing that happened today was not the tie-dying but rather the trip to Michaels.

I bought a tie-dye kit that boasted that you could tie-dye 8 shirts with it.  After opening it and seeing the 3 small squeeze bottles, I seriously questioned what size shirts they were referring to.  I was not sure we would have enough for the 3 shirts we planned to tie-dye let alone another shirt, so I packed the car with my kids and “The Kid” (the boy I watch after school) and headed to Michaels.  As we pulled into the turn lane for the strip mall, my kids noticed a lady holding a sign asking for money since she was unemployed.  My son saw her too and asked what her sign said.  I told them that she did not have a job and wanted money for food.  The conversation continued like this…

The Kid: They are called Hobos.

The Girl:  Oh my god, a real Hobo!  I have never seen a hobo before.  I have always wanted to meet a hobo. {She has seen homeless people before, just not ones referred to as hobos.  She just finished reading one of the American Girl books about Kit and learned about the Hobos in the 1930’s}


The Boy:  She is not a Hobo, She is homeless.

The Kid:  I know, Hobos are homeless.

The Girl: They are homeless, but they ride trains and search for work.  They live by a code.  {Thanks again, American Girl!}

The Kid:  No, they don’t.  I have seen a Hobo house and it is not in a train.

The Girl:  Mom, I have always wanted to give a Hobo some money.  Can I throw some coins at her?  She will be so happy.

Me:  No, you cannot throw some coins at her.  She would not be happy if you chucked coins at her!  That would hurt her and is degrading.  She is asking to be given money not asking to be thrown money.  Oh, the light is changing we have to go.

The Girl:  I meant give her money.  Mom, you should have given her money.

Me:  Ugh! I have to go when there is a green light, I am sorry.  Next time.

The Boy:  Mom, that really wasn’t nice.  You need to go back.

Me:  Well, at least I didn’t suggest throwing coins at her. [snuck in an evil eye at my daughter].  Seriously, I wish I had something to give her, but it really was not an opportune time.  Maybe I will catch her here another day.

The Girl: Probably not, she will probably catch the train to the next town by then.  Hobos have to go where the jobs are.

Me: [smiling because I wish I was still able to see the world like my daughter does] Yeah, maybe she will catch the train and find a new job.  I guess we will see.

Unfortunately, I think we will see her again.  The source of homelessness is not the same as it was in the Great Depression, but I don’t know if I have the heart to smash her beautiful view of the world…quite yet.   Probably because I wish I could see the world through the hopeful and innocent eyes of a 7 year old… where the answer to that woman’s plight lies on a train to the next city where there may be jobs.