I usually write about the neat experiences we have. The photos I share usually display happy expressions of excitement and joy. Sometimes I throw in a few of curiosity. Others are your typical kids being kids type shots. I tell you about the fun we have had, the moments that I hope will last a lifetime.
This is a different experience.
This post is about part of our Philly trip. On our last night in Philly we decided to check out Chinatown and the downtown area. Not knowing much (or anything) about Philly we drove around looking for a parking space that would accommodate our 7-foot-high van. This is not an easy task. We don’t mind walking. Heck, most days we have walked 10,000 plus steps (5 miles or more), but we have to be mindful of certain parts of town. After driving around and around for over half an hour, we were getting discouraged and ready to leave, but alas a parking space showed itself. Thankfully it was within a half mile of our destination. As we headed towards Chinatown it started to sprinkle. Between the drizzle and 40° weather, we were glad to have our coats.
After exploring a few shops and eating at a fantastic authentic Chinese restaurant, we decided it was getting too cold and late to be out. It was time to head back to our van and go to the trailer. As we walked the rain came down a little harder. People rushed by, some on bikes, many on foot. The crowd of people changed. It was no longer the fresh faced tourist taking a selfie in front of a historic building. These faces were hard. They were worn. The smell of liquor wafted from their clothing as they passed by.
As we passed a homeless man, who was obviously highly intoxicated, I had to explain to the kids why the man was yelling profanities to the ground while shaking violently. Over the years we have discussed alcohol and drug addiction, but the picture in front of them was the key example of what a life of repeated abuse leads to.
We don’t chose to shield our family from reality. We don’t flaunt that lifestyle, but we certainly don’t believe in bubbles.
Pray for the people we saw. Pray for the hearts of our future.
ps. more light hearted experiences coming soon.