Homeless Man Sleeping in the Slide


It’s late spring, almost summertime in the south.  At 10 AM it’s sunny, but around 75 degrees- a comfortably cool day to go to the park.  I load the kids into the double stroller with pacis, sippy cups, blankets, sunscreen, diaper bag.  We walk down into the park and as usual I tell the 2 year old to go off by herself while I get the little one strapped to my chest in the Baby Bjorn.   It’s not a big park.
I get the little one in the Bjorn and go to join the older one on the slide.  A mom at the swings yells to me, “I wouldn’t let your daughter go over there.”

At this point she’s already “over there” and trying to go through the tunnel to get to the slide.  Except there’s a homeless man in her way.  He’s sleeping right at the entrance to the slide.  There are a few boys and girls in the 5 to 6 year old range standing around the bottom of the playground tower saying things like,
“Ewwww…gross”

“Who is that man mommy?”

Stares from moms and kids alike are descending upon this poor homeless man.  The homeless man notices he’s being stared at (and talked about), he gets up slowly, puts on his coat and climbs down the metal bars to the ground and walks off.  You would’ve thought these moms saw a ghost, or a celebrity.  As he was walking away I asked the older one if she wanted to give some of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich to the man…she said no.  And I asked her why not…and I added, “He’s probably really hungry.”

She said she was really hungry too.   Fair enough.  I wasn’t gonna make my 2 year old give up part of her sandwich if she claims she’s really hungry.

So as the homeless man is making his exit, everyone is staring at him. Not even 2 minutes later (after he’s already gone), do the police show up.
I mean did these close-minded, up-tight mommies really call the police on a homeless man?  Who was sleeping, didn’t say a word and left the playground?  Whatta threat.

I was horrified for the homeless man, and just plain disgusted with the moms. 

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