Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Recession in our Midst

So, yesterday Ben and I drove over to Arlington to pick up a crib-- I found one that is essentially identical to Zosia's on craigslist for $70, crib and mattress, which is less than half of what I would pay in a store (yes, we will be a two crib household for a while! Along with a two-babies-in-diapers household, neither of which I mind). I had driven over to check it out once before, and had met Joan and Evelyn, mother and daughter, who live in a teensy-weensy one bedroom apartment. Evelyn had never used the crib, Joan told me, because she has always slept with her. (So cute!) And as I approached the apartment via the stairs, I could se Evelyn's excited little four year old head peaking out of the door.

Yesterday we went back with Zosia in tow to disassemble the crib (not as easy as it should have been!) and load it into the car. These days I'm playing the "I can't lift things because I'm pregnant" card more and more, so Z and I hung out at the apartment while Ben took a couple trips down to the car to load up the crib parts. Joan and I started talking, and after the usual niceties and formalities, she told me she had just been laid off last month. Whew... I didn't know what to say. So apparently, Joan's husband still lives in Hong Kong, and she has lived here since Evelyn was born-- moving something like 5 times in 3 years to pursue jobs, living life as a single mother. So now here she is with this beautiful little girl, no job, and essentially no community. She's a computer programmer, so we're trying to see if we can set her up with someone who has a job, but the unfortunate truth is that no one is really hiring.

I've been reading all about the statistics of unemployment rising, a recession looming, etc, and there are definitely members of our family that have been effected. But today as I went about my day, I couldn't get the image of Joan and Evelyn out of my head, hoping and praying that better times are in our future.

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