We finally had weekend worthy weather on a weekend, which was awesome with so much going on. E was sick and hung around the homestead. O, however, ably served as my assistant in the Ypsi Pride cleanup day. Once again, I was the site leader for Recreation Park. We had the EMU basketball team this year (last year it was football) and I was ready, having borrowed extra tools (college students never have tools). O got everyone signed in and took charge of the donuts. Once his friend L arrived, they also joined in on moving wood chips under the play equipment. We also got the gutters of the parking lot cleaned out, the pavilion swept, and the park de-trashed.
The basketball players were awfully nice to O -- calling him by name, listening intently to his stories, letting him help with any job he chose, and making sure the rest of the team did the same. It does make me wonder why. O is certainly a dynamic kid, but they responded to him immediately, even before he'd had a chance to charm them (or produce the donuts). O was dressed in his sporty duds -- last year's baseball team cap and athletic pants -- was it a boy sport connection? Or was he more accessible than me? The players were perfectly polite, but they didn't chat with me and I seriously doubt any of them remembered my name (but they all knew the name of my kid...). Anyway, O enjoyed it and I enjoyed watching him enjoy the attention. Young adults, beyond those we pay to teach them, are often not so attentive to little kids.
For next year, I'm thinking we need to enlist more kids. After the basketball team left, we got a third load of woodchips. I had O, L, and one other volunteer left at that point but we'd all been moving woodchips for a couple of hours. I gathered an armload of shovels and rakes and headed toward the pile, inviting the parents of kids playing on the equipment to lend a hand. None of them budged. Really? Who can watch volunteers work on something you use and not help for ten minutes??? Well, their kids showed them up. They got interested in what we were doing and I offered them the tools and they ALL helped (to the best of their abilities) while we chatted about how cool it was to help take care of "our" park.
Overall, this year seemed to go more smoothly than last and I think we did a good job of putting things in order for the summer. Bike Ypsi launches most rides from here, so we have a special affinity for Rec Park. Between Jeff, O, and myself, I think BY has done right by this park!