11 January 2011

snowballs for change

This week has been insane. No school for Monday and Tuesday, and now no school on Wednesday? It's almost as if the Board of Education feels we shouldn't even go to school for the rest of the week. And there are rumors..
Another great and productive day out on the slopes. This morning I woke up and looked out the window to see if any new powder lay there, but our snow tracks from yesterday were still there. I hoped the slope would be fine too. I ran downstairs and had my entire breakfast, including making it, eating it, and putting all the stuff away, in 8 minutes. Maybe 9.
Then I put all my sow garb on and ran back outside. How awesome it smells outside when it snows! the ground was all icy, and I grinned this gigantic grin, knowing it was a surefire sign of school cancellation.
Then me and my kid siblings returned to the infamous big hill, armed with more makeshift sleds. The hill looked all slick and flat, almost like a downhill ice rink. All the kids were slipping all over the place. It was sort of dangerous. I was slightly disappointed, and we only stayed for an hour or two until it wasn't fun anymore. No one else seemed to be having much fun either.
We trudged down the street with our "sleds" and sat in the front lawn. I looked over at the giant pile of snowballs that my sister made the day before. There were like 200 of these little snowballs here. It was like an open arsenal right on the porch. She suggested that we take them to fix up the big hill. We'd take all the snow balls, smash them on the thin parts, and presto - the big hill would be fixed. I thought it was a great idea, but I didn't think anyone would actually want us to fix it. Sometimes kids get agitated when you try and change things. Kids. They're funny people.
Instead, we went out to lunch, which proved to be quite fun when you are one of 3 groups of people in the restaurant (everything is closed because of the storm. fun stuff.); sometimes it's fun to be in the only ones in a restaurant. It makes you feel like you are in an abandoned town after the gold rush. I had the best meal ever - spaghetti bolognese, sauce on the side. It's just so good.
Then we came home to figure out how to lug 200+ snowballs up a hill to get to another hill. After mapping out our plan, we took all the snowballs up the hill in large buckets.
When we got there, there were probably already ten kids up there, aimlessly sledding down the hill, now brown from the dirt, into the creek. One of the kids noticed my brother coming and asked earnestly what we were carrying. My brother replied, "Snowballs - we're going to fix the big hill!"
We walked right through the hill, towards the middle where the most damage was done, and started patching up the spots with snowballs. The other kids just looked at each other. They didn't try to stop us, but they didn't seem to interested in helping either.
Much to my dismay, we ran out of snowballs. It only covered a square foot of space, and we needed at least a thousand snowballs for the amount of snow that wasn't on the hill anymore. That's when I asked for a shovel. One of the neighborhood girls who was my brother's age went and got one, and said "Can I help you shovel?"
My brother and sister had moved to different parts of the hill to repair, and I started shoveling and passing snow to other parts. As I looked over and took off my hat, I saw another kid next to my brother smoothing out the snow. And towards the top, at least four of the kids formed an assembly line to make more snowball to be transported down the hill. Soon all the kids, even the little ones, were helping by either making snowballs, shovelling, packing snow, or smoothing out the surface.
Everyone was working together to get the snow down and make the hill safer and more fun to ride on. It wasn't just me and my brother and sister - it was everyone. I didn't even know who some of those kids were; this was my first time seeing some of them. But they appreciated that we initiated change, and so they were eager to help. It was so cool to see that this group of kids could come together and help each other to make the hill better for everyone. And everyone got more excited about the hill after we finished reconstructing it. We gave a new hope to the hill.
This collaborative effort was not premeditated or forced, nor did I give people assignments and jobs, as other kids had tried to do yesterday when the hill's surface began to worsen. The best kind of teamwork is when the group is passionate about what they are doing, and I learned that you can't force people to do something and expect it to turn out well. We did a great job and everyone was happy. And seeing everyone's faces when they went down the improved hill gave me a lot of pride and happiness.
So if you don't like something, change it. And don't worry if other people don't support your cause - set the precedence for change and others will follow. Be the leader you want to follow.

1 comment:

  1. I like the blog title (as I always do) and the message! kind of like that girl on Disney who made the garden at school to help feed others (similar concept anyway) :)
    love,mom xoxo