So this will be something like story time with Luna. Today I visited my grandmother, she lives near Zagreb and my mommy was also there. After finishing lunch, hanging out a bit with my family, me and my mom had to go to catch a train back home.
The train station is walking distance from my grandma’s home so we walked and after some time, before us there was a man and a little girl which was his daughter and they were clearly very poor and were begging from house to house for food and old stuff they could sell or old iron. They had like a little cart loaded with all stuff they gathered from different homes and they took a break because the girl was thirsty. The father opened this juice for her to drink and then we crossed paths with them. The girl returned the juice to her father and she said Good Day to me and my mom and wished us a Merry Christmas. My heart broke at that point.
It’s nothing unusual to see a scene like that in Zagreb where people beg for money and food but something about this little girl was just breaking my heart. It’s always cold in Croatia during December and I was really happy to see that she was well dressed during this cold day. She had boots, a hat, a thick jacket so at least she wasn’t cold. I honestly wondered if they had a place to sleep.
After a few steps the girl talked to us again a bit and then she and her father went on. She was happily jumping and skipping next to her father as he was pushing the heavy cart filled with stuff. The girl started singing We wish you a Merry Christmas and her father joined her. My heart was breaking for them but the sight of them being happy with what they had and singing together on the street just made me feel…something. I can’t put a finger on it or describe it with a word. It was like a general, pure, not corrupted feeling of being in the presence of pure gratitude. I honestly hope they have a warm place to sleep in.
Now we fast forward a bit to me and my mom arriving to the train station in Zagreb. We stopped at a shop to get some water and then we went to the station. There was a woman with a suitcase, a big bag, a dog she was holding on a leash which was tied to her wrist and her baby was in a special seat that resembled a child’s car seat (to give you a better description). As my mom and I were approaching the station I observed that woman for a second and realized she was looking around, not paying attention to her child. The child leaned towards her, extended her arms for her mom to hold her and the baby girl fell out of the seat and, thank God, landed on her feet and not her head. I just stopped walking and stared at that event. I could not believe my eyes. The child wasn’t hurt, I understand that children fall a lot, especially before they start walking, but this girl fell because her mother was not paying attention to her. I do not believe that a parent can have his focus on a child 24/7 but this baby was in a seat and was NOT TIED IN ANY WAY OR SECURED IN THE SEAT and her mother was not paying attention to her. The girl of course proceeded to cry loudly.
I observed her mother for a while after. She put the baby girl on the ground and the baby was holding to the seat while the dog was running around her. The child could clearly not stand straight and she was craving her mother’s attention. All she did was extend her arms to her mom wanting to be held. I felt this sudden urge to go and take the child and hold her in my hands but I knew that well… that is not really socially acceptable and that her mother would kill me. She then proceeded to put the baby on the train station bench, she gave her a cookie, the dog was also taking bites out of that cookie and started to jump all over the girl’s feet which didn’t look very safe since a child cannot hold her stability while sitting. Her mother seemed very annoyed and frustrated as if her child was a great inconvenience for her. That whole scene just made me so angry and then it made me remember the girl I saw just half an hour prior to that event.
I spent my ride back to my apartment just trying to wrap my mind about the two events I witnessed today. How can someone clearly live in great struggle and go singing down the street, while someone else who clearly has a lot in life can behave as that mother did. She didn’t look as if she was going to beg for money or food. Since she had a suitcase, a child in a special seat and was well dress I am assuming she has a warm home and food on the table. How? Just how?
It made me think about all of the things I personally own which I take for granted and do not realize how incredibly lucky I am to have these things. This day was just a big red gratitude alert and I wanted to share it with you all. I think that every now and then we need to be reminded of how blessed we are
Hope this wasn’t a boring post for you guys.
Sending love and positive vibes,