Trenton, like all kids, loves summertime. He loves to ride bikes with his friends, he loves his “summertime” bedtime (9 PM instead of 8:30 PM). He loves to stomp in the small creek that runs on the edge of their neighborhood, using sticks and stones to create dams and redirect the thin flow of water. He loves to draw on the street in front of their house with chalk.
But for his mother, Trisha, summertime is a difficult time to navigate. A home health aide, Trisha keeps running calculations of their expenditures, dollar for dollar, on the back of receipts in her purse. While she loves her job as a caregiver, it is difficult to stretch her earnings to cover her small families’ needs. She and Trenton live in a tenuous financial balance year round, but summertime brings extra expenses such as additional childcare and food.
During the school year, Trenton qualifies for free breakfasts and lunches at his school– important nutrients that Trisha must figure out how to make up for during the two and a half months of summer. Some summers, Trisha simply can’t make the math add up.
This summer, Trenton will go to a camp at a local community center while Trisha works. There, he will get hot, nutritious meals all summer long. This goes a long way in lightening Trisha’s load.
“I want to give him the best of everything, but sometimes I just can’t make it all work. Summertime can feel so impossible. I’ve learned that it is okay to ask for help.”