Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Gluten Free Pizza and Recess Duty

This post may turn out to be a bit all over the place because originally I wanted to blog about our experience eating at a great new Organic Pizzeria in the Short North but my tales of after the meal are haunting me.

First things first- in order of my evening: ZPizza as amazing fresh toppings and lots of options including a dedicated certified gluten free crust and the place is completely not fast food chain franchisey pizza either, it is gourmet.I took plenty of photos and even a video of CJ singing the praises

of the hot, fresh, Gluten Free Pepperoni and cheese pizza. We ordered some pies that were stellar and the kids gobbled them up. It is fun to watch CJ order gluten free pizza in a restaurant, you can clearly see how much fun it is for him!

After dinner we took the kids to a playground near Children's Hospital. This is where it gets off topic. I was enjoying the beautiful 67 degree spring weather, and while at the park I could not help but notice we weren't in New Albany anymore. This playground was cluttered with litter and garbage- there were half consumed gatorade bottles strewn about and fast food wrappers flying everywhere. It was gross. The equipment itself was lovely but the grounds were not maintained at all. What parent would let their child dispose of trash on the playground instead of in a garbage gan? Then, I looked around and noticed there weren't any parents there. At all.

First, this playground was crowded- there were unsupervised kids all over the place and no parents in sight. There weren't grandparents or babysitters, older siblings or neighbors watching neighbors, these were kids left to play by themselves. I felt like I was on recess duty. I could not believe there were so many little tiny children playing without an adult or guardian. Where did these kids come from?

I saw a small boy, maybe 4 or 5 years old playing by himself. He was alone and just hanging out at the swings. As I watched him pull a cell phone from his pocket I was mesmerized. At first I took a closer look thinking it was a toybut when he called his mom and asked her to come and pick him up I about fell over. Double click the photo so you can see his sweet face, and I ask you in all seriousness- does this boy look old enough to be dropped off at the playground with a cell phone instead of a parent? WTF?

Upon closer inspection this tot had dollar bills pinned to his shirt. I could not imagine what the hell this was all about.
I tried to take some photos to capture his face just in case he is front page news tomorrow. I have no idea why he had money pinned to him, I thought maybe he rode the city bus to the playground and this was his bus fare home? Why would a child have money pinned to him when he was at the park without a parent? Wouldn't this sort of attract the wrong kind of attention to a baby? Does he look old enough to be left alone in a public park? I would have guessed him to be about 3 or 4 years old, at the oldest. I was really dumbfounded by all of this- I am not some sheltered New Albany Country Club princess, and this is not some racial or economic rant, this is about the safety and well being of children. At what point as an adult do you step in and start asking questions? If I don't advocate for these little people who will? And so that I am crystal clear, this is not about anything other than caring about these little people. I am not Madonna or Mia Farrow- I do not want to adopt these kids and take them as my own, I just want to be able to sleep knowing that someone gives a rats' ass about them.

Since it is my blog and I actually took my kids to the playground,

here are some photos to tide Nana and Papa over until they arrive in person on Thursday- see I was at the park with my children--You will not see bus fare or a cell phone on any of them, thank you very much.

It was almost 8:30 at night when we left the park to go pick up Argenida and all the "stray" kids were still messing around without supervision. I can't stop thinking about them. Have you ever had something like this mess with your head? As we ate dinner I was so jazzed to come home and write about our awesome Gluten Free pizza meal at ZPizza, but sadly, since we left the playground I can't stop obsessing about kids that weren't even my own. Recess duty never ends.


Nothing shocks me anymore... said...

The money pinned on the shirt is a birthday thing. Money is pinned to the shirt in hopes that other people will see this and give them more money to pin on the shirt...(At least that is how it was done when I went to inner city Akron schools)

Helene Eichenwald Slutsky said...

ohhhhh, the money is on his shirt because it is his birthday. OK- that must me a custom I am just unfamiliar with- but at least that might explain it.

I kept wondering why no one was surprised to see that...thanks for setting me straight Nothing!

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