We have more kids attending groups who live outside the shelter than live at the shelter.
Some of them used to live there and return for group while Mom is attending her group. Some hear about the shelter's groups for battered women and come before things get too bad.
Last night, a young woman showed up with her little girl fifteen minutes before groups started. Her child was sound asleep in a stroller. The woman was well dressed, well-spoken, and sure her daughter would do "fine" without her for group time.
It worried me a little, as many "new" kids, especially those under six, cry so hard and long their first playtime that they have to be taken back to their moms before group time is over.
But this mom was right. She stayed with her little girl in the children's area for a few minutes, then firmly told her she'd be back in a while. The child, whose language was excellent for her age, was obviously well cared-for. Though she got a bit teary after a few minutes, she readily accepted the attention of a babysitter and later, me when she was playing with the doll house.
This tells me a lot. She trusts people. She trusts that Mom will do what she promises. She's happy and outgoing.
This mom has done something very loving. She's working on her relationship problems with a batterer to improve her daughter's life as well as her own, before she or her child is significantly damaged by him. Another hero, as far as I'm concerned.
We have a lot of them.