The past couple of weeks have been especially fruitful, thriftwise. I've replenished George's dwindling shirt supply (his torso is lengthening at an alarming rate!) and Zelda's dwindling leggings supply (her thighs are expanding at an adorable rate!), and even found a dress for myself, pleasantly reminiscent of a suzani and good for spring which is when you might see it. Right now I need sleeves. But the best thing I found while perusing the Goodwill was a renewed faith in humanity. Aww, gross! But seriously.
As I stood in line to pay, I watched a tall man in ill-fitting, worn clothes wheel around a child I guessed to be two in a tiny, tattered umbrella stroller. The boy was asleep: slumped over as far as one could slump -- head nearly resting in his own lap -- and unbuckled, as I'm sure the straps were too small to fit around his body let alone the bulky winter coat he wore. The dad went outside to look at the strollers on display next to the rack of bikes for sale, and an employee rushed out to ask accusatorily, "Can I help you??" as though the guy could realistically take off with two strollers, one of which barely held his sleeping child. The father shook his head and came back inside where he poked around for another few minutes. A woman in line at another register left her place to retrieve the stroller the dad had been looking at -- reclining, with a large sun shade, a cup holder and nicely padded seat -- and she and I walked out with our purchases a few yards behind the father, who left empty handed.
She jogged over to him with the stroller and called out, "Excuse me!" As I put my bags in my car, I heard her say, "I've seen you guys waiting for the bus. It's so hard to afford everything."
"Holy shit!" the man said. "Are you serious?" She walked off quickly to her car, giving a wave, and, grinning, he wheeled both strollers to the curb for transfer. As he picked his son up out of the old stroller, he began crying, yelling "Thank you!" and waving to the woman as she drove away. He left the old stroller in the place where the new one had sat, for sale, and he and the still-sleeping boy headed for the bus stop.
Only one thing seems fitting to post after that. A sign for the entry way, $2.99.