We discovered Hero #1 at the library during the Spanish story hour. Jamie (pronounced Hyymiieee by the author) pranced and “harmonicad” his way through an entertaining hour. The kids clapped, laughed (mine laughed the loudest at the caterpillar who didn't want to go without gas), swam and cooked and had a rousing good time. This guy clearly loves his job and was a hero to all the kids.
We ran into our next hero at nearby Washington Park, flying a remote controlled plane. All you need to draw a crowd (of kids, that is) at a neighborhood park is some sort of flying object. Our kids lined up behind him (he did have one of his own), taking turns at the controller, and madly chasing his plane around when it wasn't their turn. I was impressed he was willing to give even my 3YO a turn, and even more astounded the little guy got the plane in the air. Amazingly, the plane "got stuck [in a tree] only once” and the kids had a blast while the other parents got to chat under the trees.
And finally we happened upon some rocket building boy scouts. I had noticed the various homemade rockets earlier and when I saw the poor plane's day was coming to an end, I distracted the kids with the promise of rockets over yonder in the mist. The older kids were only too happy to give our little kinders a turn. I should not be surprised at their kindness; they are boy scouts after all. But in contrast to the remote-controlled plane guy, the adults in the crowd would barely make eye contact. The scouts were only too open to letting the little guys have a turn launching the rockets, warning us when they ran out of "fuel" (actually water) that the rockets wouldn't go too far. More water was found and all the kids had a blast (hah!) even after the rain started.
I never knew I was going to like living here so much.
Cross-posted at Not Just A Working Mom.