Today at the playground, while Jackson and I were eating lunch, a scavenging couple ambled through, magically pulling whole meals out of garbage cans. Jackson watched with great interest as the woman triumphantly dug up an uneaten sandwich, still in plastic wrap, and half a bag of nacho cheese Doritos. The man was unimpressed with his own take from another barrel, something wrapped in a napkin, I didn't stop him and ask for a peek. Jackson, however, pointed at the man while looking quite indignantly at me, which I took to be a silent reproach along the lines of How come HE can take food out of the garbage and I can't?
I've been told that empathy doesn't kick in until around year seven, but after some chasing, a long stretch of swinging, and two pit stops (pee and poo), we stopped to do some tree-climbing, where Jackson noticed a woman sleeping on the grass about thirty feet away, and I thought it might be a good time to take a whack at The Facts of Homelessness: Preschool Edition.
Jackson: There's a woman sleeping!
Me: Uh-huh, well, that's her spot, she's been sleeping there for years. When she's not sleeping, she's walking, you see her all over town. She doesn't have a home like us, or a bed, or a TV, or a refrigerator with juice boxes.
Jackson: Yeah, but I have juice boxes! I have red, and green.
Me: Yes, you do, you have lots of things, but all she has is that spot and the clothes she's wearing.
Jackson: And she doesn't have a bed!
Me: No bed.
Jackson: She sleeps on the grass!
Jackson: That's disgusting!
Actually, he said misgusting, but I am no Art Linkletter.