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Tim Dick 17 May 2013We didn't have a park when I was growing up.[...]
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Tag Archives: Downtown North
Yesterday, my son Marco (5), niece Andrea, and I ventured down the San Francisquito creek bed about a mile from our house to Marco’s preschool. I’m sad and excited at the same time to say that it was a wonderful, frontier-like adventure.
I’m sad because we encountered absolutely no one on our hour plus trip down there. In fact, in my many visits to that creek, I’ve hardly ever seen anyone else there. Thus, I feel sad for all the kids who live around here and never get to experience our creek bed as we did.
On the other hand, it was wonderful because the creek bed is so beautiful, and because the desolation down there really made us feel like we were explorers. Continue reading
Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we live in a land of wonderful public parks. There are countless web sites and books telling us how to take advantage of them. What’s more, we all know dozens of people who go there every weekend.
Unfortunately, almost all of these are not accessible to us and our kids by foot. In other words, getting there depends on planning and driving.
The picture to the right shows my sons at a beautiful creek scene. You might have a photo like this, too. What’s interesting about this one for me is that it was taken on the bank of San Francisquito Creek, which is within a five-minute walk from my house and thousands of other homes in the Palo Alto / Menlo Park area. And we took it on a beautiful Sunday afternoon (March 8). Continue reading
My son Marco (4) walked over to the swings at Johnson Park in Palo Alto this past Saturday. He put his hand on one of them and backed off, saying, “It’s wet!” I didn’t say a word. I wanted to see what he would do.
Immediately after that, a mom and her daughter, about the same age as Marco, walked over. The mom saw the same dew on the swings and said, “Oh, no. The swings are wet. I guess you can’t swing today.”
I watched them as they talked about it. The girl was sad. In the meantime, unbeknownst to me, Marco had slipped outside my gaze. A few moments later, he showed up again at a swing with a piece of cardboard in his hand. He had grabbed one from the foot of the cement slide.
“It’s OK. I can sit on this.” He put the cardboard on top of the swing seat, jumped up by himself, and started swinging. Continue reading
[Note: Alex is a student at Palo Alto High School. We parents can learn a lot from his perspective.]
In my freshman year of high school my parents gave me much more independence. I guess they finally decided it was time to let go and let me join my new, mostly older friends on their adventures around town. We could now roam the streets without someone telling us what to do. At first we weren’t sure what to do to entertain ourselves.
We had always been pretty much under the control of adults, who would bring us to specific activities where we knew what was going to happen before we got there. Now, all of this was suddenly taken away, and we were lost. Eventually we realized that we don’t have to do something conventional, that our only guidelines are our physical limits. This realization marks for me the beginning of what I consider the most creative time in my life. Continue reading
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