single mom

my kid made me buy extra groceries

I was in the process of thanking the cashier at Sobey’s on my way out of the store when F ran towards me. I had no sooner opened my mouth to ask him if he could carry the lighter bag when he cut me off.

“Mama! They have a *lost and found* box. HERE. AT THE GROCERY STORE. Isn’t that weird?” 

He was pointing to a large white box near the door, all but jumping out of his skin with excitement. The box was, of course, filled with cereals and pastas, soups and cookies and chips and other foods we weren’t buying on this particular trip.

I explained that the FEED NOVA SCOTIA box was actually a donation box. What’s a donation box? F asked with all of the innocence and wonder of a five-year-old. As I explained that people buy extra groceries at the store to place in the box for families who may have a hard time buying the groceries they need to feed their families, I tried to guide F to the car.

He wouldn’t budge.

Mama… It’s really sad that people have a hard time buying food to eat. Is it kind of like where you used to work and help people?

Although it’s been two years, F still remembers the work of The Salvation Army. It’s why every time we pass a kettle at Christmas, he asks for money to put inside. I told him yes, and we started walking to the car. Just steps away from our parking space, F looked at me with his big blue eyes.

I wish I could help those people who are having a hard time. I don’t have any money… but if I did, I’d use it to buy food for people who don’t have any. What can I do?

It’s a question I don’t ask myself often enough, and it’s a question that I decided needed answering. I’m not rich by any means, but $20 of groceries is little to me… but it’s not little to everyone. We threw our bags in the trunk and, knowing it meant we’d be late for bedtime, I took F’s hand and we went back inside to buy a bag of groceries.

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