I took a friend, my bro-in-law, and my daughter to Starbucks by Union Station. An apparently homeless man came in and asked us for money. I really didn’t want to engage him since I had my hands full at that moment. So I shoo’d him away, maybe a little more brusquely than I would like to have done.
My daughter, who has a sweet disposition, glared at me. She went running off after the man across the street down Monroe Street. I could see she had her wallet out and is holding a wad of bills. He was pointing down the street, and the two of them started walking away from where I can see them. I have my friend watch my bro-in-law, and I dash out and catch up with them. My daughter tells me that the man needs baby formula and wanted her to buy some for him at Target. He’s holding whatever money she just gave him. He’s a rugged looking guy, none to happy that I ran up like that. I explain that we don’t have time for her to go with him, but no-harm-done, we wish him the best, and we hope the $6 or whatever will be helpful. He walks off.
As we head back to Starbucks, I started saying all the obvious things about the need for street smarts when strangers ask for money. She was having none of it, and just said: “But Daddy, he looks tired and worn out. Who will help that man?”
“I don’t know, sweetheart.” And I put her onto her train.