Last week, I was home with Little Man. I got a call from Miss Preschool. She was my daughter’s preschool teacher over 4 years ago. The preschool is in a church up the street. Miss Preschool began to tell me about a problem she was having and she didn’t know what to do. “Kristin, there are these two young people sleeping outside the doorway to the preschool. They were here yesterday. The church wants me to call the police and have them arrested. But, I just don’t feel right about it. You came to mind.” I asked Miss Preschool a couple of questions and gave her some suggestions, it was then I heard it in her voice. Fear. “This is so far out of my comfort zone. I don’t know what to do,” she said. I asked her, “Do you want me to come up there and help?” I heard a sigh of relief. “Would you?”
I quickly turned on the cast iron skillet and cooked up some eggs and ham. I toasted a couple of English muffins and made sandwiches. I loaded Little Man in the car. When I got there, the couple was still asleep under their blankets. They had a stroller loaded with all their possessions. I went in to get Miss Preschool and drop Little Man off to play with the kids. We went outside. “Good morning!” I said. “I have a hot breakfast for you! Time to get up.” I heard the couple mumble under their blankets, “Really?” “Yup” I said. “But, you have to get up.” Miss Preschool and I waited for the drowsy couple to pull themselves together. It’s kind of weird to be so close to someone’s personal space. I mean, how many friends have you stood over when they were waking up?
They sat up. I introduced myself and Miss Preschool and handed them their breakfast. We sat down on the lawn and waited. As they started to eat, I began to ask them about their story. *Mary said they had been on the streets for a couple of months. She had gotten in a fight with her dad because her dad didn’t like her boyfriend *Tim. I asked if they were looking for a place to stay…had they tried the shelters? Tim said, “They won’t let us stay together in the shelters because we’re not married. We don’t want to be separated.” I asked them what they needed. “How can we help you?” I don’t think they get asked that question very often. They just looked at me. Then Mary spoke up, “Can I use your bathroom?” “Sure,” I exclaimed as I hopped to my feet.
Miss Preschool was a little concerned that the church wouldn’t be happy with me inviting her in. I said, “I’ll take the heat for this one!” About 15 minutes later Mary emerged from the restroom looking freshly washed and changed. I was so glad to have a few minutes with her. You see, I’ve been working with a friend on starting transitional housing for under aged girls who want to leave the sex industry. I’ve been receiving training and basically just having my eyes opened to the reality of how prevalent this industry is. I was pretty sure Mary was working the streets to help (said) boyfriend. She denied it of course, but all the signs said other wise. I asked her what she needed. Again, she wasn’t sure how to answer. “Do you need clothes? Shampoo? A clean towel?” She slowly began to roll off a list. I gave her my number and told her to give me some time to pull it all together.
Miss Preschool and I walked her to the door. I let Tim and Mary know that even though I understood they needed a place to sleep, they couldn’t sleep in front of the preschool. We said our goodbyes.
I went inside with Miss Preschool and she began to cry. “This just breaks my heart,” she said. “But, Kristin, you made it look so easy, so natural.”
It doesn’t take much to make someone feel special, even for a moment. I can’t solve their problems. They really didn’t want to change their circumstances. But, for a moment, they received a hot meal (not peanut butter and jelly), I asked them about themselves and what they need. For a moment, they were treated with dignity and shown a little love. Have you ever LoveBombed someone? Would you?
*Names have been changed.