Sunday night, on the train home to beautiful Bexley, a woman got on the train and made a little speech to the carriage about having no money and could anyone help out.
I saw Millie’s ears prick up straightaway, standing up to get a better look at this strange thing – a person addressing strangers on the train (even eight year olds know that striking up conversations on the train is a bit…unusual).
MILLIE: What is that lady saying?
ME: She’s asking if anyone has any money they can spare.
ME: Well, maybe she has no money for a ticket, or maybe she has no money to buy food. Maybe she has nowhere to live.
I expected that would be it, but then she made me proud:
MILLIE: Do we have any money we can give her?
ME: Not a lot, but we can give her what we have.
MILLIE: OK, let’s do that.
And she took all my change, stood up and gave it to the lady, who smiled, said “Bless you,” and moved on down the train.
Millie didn’t mention it again but I looked at her in a new light: she didn’t hesitate, didn’t judge the woman or ignore her like everyone else on the train; she just wanted to help.