Well, I made a new friend while out for my daily 3km walk with the kids. (they sit in the double stroller, it’s much faster that way. Otherwise we mosy along like slugs, and that does very little for my daily cardio)
We were on our last stretch toward home when an older fellow on a bike, rode past and said ‘You guys are lucky!’ to my 2 and 3 year old in the stroller, and gave them a thumbs up. He then stopped his bike a little ways ahead of us and as we approached he said to the boys, ‘Have you ever given your mum a tip?’ I told him that they hadn’t and in fact had only recently befin putting cohesive sentences together. Well, he gave each of them a looney. (A dollar coin for non-canadians who have no idea what that is) Each of them smiled and gave the coin to me. My tip for doing such a marvy job pushing them in the stroller.
He said his name was Crazy George. I introduced ourselves to him. After a bit more small talk he was on his way.
It was a nice feeling.
Funny actually, there is an older aboriginal man who rides a bike and he and I often pass each other if I’m out walking in the afternoon. He with a little gaggle of children riding along with him on their bikes, and a little one or two in a bike trailer behind him. I’ve seen him off and on since I first moved here and started walking. He will smile and nod and/or say ‘hi’ and I do the same. Sometimes he is without the children, but either way, we always acknowlege each other with pleasantries. He comes from the direction of one of the reservations that encircle Chilliwack. The funny thing (I mentioned something funny in the beginning of this paragraph) is that I feel a deeper connection to him and to alot of the others who travel by foot and who are (or seem to be) a bit down and out.
Most of my adult life was spent in poverty. From the time I moved out at 16 onward. When I walk with these little ones, I am brought back to a time a decade+ ago when my older three children were as young as these ones are now. Young mom, single and poor. Every day a struggle, whether it be to lug groceries home on welfare day, while trying to push a double stroller, with only my 6 year old to help, or worse yet, the struggle to make a meal out of whatever meager eatings were in the cupboards.
I am remarried now, with the two little ones, and because of my grandmother’s death, my mother was able to put a huge downpayment on a home for us. So we pay the mortgage.. co-owner with my mom (who doesn’t live with us… such a good woman 😉 ) but appearances are deceiving.
We have a nice home… but in my heart I am humble. We still live paycheque to paycheque (sometimes barely) but we have a roof over our heads no matter what and THAT is awesome. I know though that we are different from our neighbours. I know them well enough to know that they aren’t like that.
They have multiple vehicles, atvs,recreactional vehicles… We have a vehicle. First new vehicle that we’ve ever owned. Everything we have is so appreciated.
I see the people of my city, the poor and the ones pushing children, lugging groceries, or strapping HUGE bundles on their bikes and I feel a familiarity. I feel a sense of comfort too.