So I did it. And it was pretty much everything I thought it would be- depressing, uplifting, frustrating and motivating. Many of the soup kitchen patrons were like you'd imagine them to be- homeless-looking, weathered and worn. But others seemed like someone you'd see anywhere- a pretty woman in her 40s, a family with a baby and two older daughters, a woman that looked like any grandma. You had to wonder what brought them there, what throws of the dice led to seeking out food on a snowy winter day. And of course, I couldn't help but think that this very well could have been me- I mean, I left an addict husband with two very small children, and if I didn't have family to help me, if I hadn't gotten my job when I did... well, I can see how things could have gone a in a very different direction.
The hardest part for me was the baby, though. She was about 18 months, and super cute, and the mom asked for sugar to make sugar water in her bottle. That was rough to see, and made me want to offer them things, but then I noticed the dad (I'm guessing) had a bluetooth and was on the phone, which was weird and unsettling. It made me think he was a dealer, because of the people I've encountered because of my ex, and that made me even sadder. So then it made me want to steal the baby. Okay, I didn't want to steal the baby, but boy did I want to take her home with me.
I told the woman who coordinates the volunteers to put me on the on-call list, that I'd be there any Sunday they needed an extra set of hands. I hope to go back soon.