Where the heart is

Illness has descended upon Casa DKG; an unidentified unwellness whereby the kidlets and I have various symptoms including headache, body aches, upset tummies and general crankiness. You might ask how is this any different to a normal day around these here parts. Being the mother I have years of experience in discerning where normal grumpiness and poor behaviour ends and actual sickness begins. We are officially in that zone.

I am fairly confident this is the sort of 24 hour thing which will be made all better by a day in front of the tv with plentiful cups of lemony tea and paracetamol* [*willing to promote your brand of paracetamol here, just phone the 1800 number, our trained operators are waiting to take your call]. Oh and a win by the hapless NSW Blues in tonight’s State of Origin wouldn’t hurt at all.

Being safe and snug at home prompted Miss M to consider the plight of homeless people. “It would be horrible to be homeless when you are sick,” she stated. I agreed.

“If I saw a homeless person that was sick I would ask them to come and live with us and look after them. Then, when they got their own place I would be their friend.”


Such beautiful sentiments bring about so many questions.

Who is this kind child and what has she done with my daughter?
If she feels so much empathy towards homeless people why can’t she display some towards her long suffering mother?
Would she be nicer to me if I was homeless?
Does she realise that homeless people generally smell bad?

It makes me so happy that she feels this way but also sad because I know that life is not so simple and very soon she will come to understand this.

I wanted to explain to her that people become homeless for a complex variety of reasons. I wanted to explain to her that it would be a much better world if we could all take in a homeless person into our homes and help them regain their footing in society… but that unfortunately the world just didn’t work that way.

Why doesn’t it work this way? I don’t know. Fear would be my first guess. Money. Control. Stepping outside of our comfort zones.

We start off fearless and open and slowly get filled up with fear because the more we know the more fearful we become. We start off full of possibility and naively brave about the world and soon we become risk assessment specialists, assessing every action and interaction against an ever building mental list of what ifs.

I know we can’t take a homeless person home but I know we can help our children understand that it is important to help those less fortunate in the world (as our family does) and that there are many ways of doing that. For example, it is often said that charity starts are home… so how about starting by being charitable to your parents? We may not be homeless but we deserve a little kindness and empathy too.