Those people who take care of your kids

7 Jan

Both my parents worked, which put me in the hands someone else before and after school. It was great. There were snacks, friends to play with, and the punishment if you got into trouble was never the horror that my mom or dad would have doled out.

Today reminded me that with all the horror stories of abuse at childcare centers and schools, or drunken bus drivers there are still some great people out there taking care of generations of children, and doing a damn good job at it. The dedicated crew at Berkeley’s Live Oak park are wonderful. Though the use the facility for rentals now, a few years ago it was teaming with children every weekday.

While growing up Marvin and Pat took care of not only me, but my brothers as well. They looked out for us, along with 30 plus other children, the kids who flocked to the basketball and tennis courts, and a slew of random stragglers. In the summer, Live Oak served as a pickup and drop-off location for summer camps, including Camp Winnarainbow and Camp Tuolumne. I remember the afterschool program at Live Oak was so coveted that my mother, along with dozens of other Berkeley moms, would arrive at 5 a.m. with lawn chairs to claim their child’s spot.

Marvin and Pat are still on site at Live Oak and remember almost every face, no matter if you are out for a walk or taking your own kids to the park. I was pleasantly surprised when Marvin asked about my mom, my brothers, and the boys from across the street (though they still show up to shoot hoops every weekend). After 30 years these two are still at it, using patience and eagle eyes to make sure nothing “goes down on the playground.”

There are still good people out there Fox News!


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