Hide and Seek

Written by Jaime Cano
    Saturday, 16 January 2016
Hide and Seek

It was 5pm on a late fall, Friday evening and I was enjoying a cup of hot chocolate at the Menomonee Valley branch’s reception desk. A group of our regular youth visitors were running around the building as it was too dark outside to explore Three Bridges Park and they were having too much fun to go home. It was a quiet evening, perfect for kids to just hang out and be themselves in our safe community center. I couldn’t see anybody around, but I could hear little feet moving fast.

Suddenly a little one appeared, “Mister Jaime, I can hide under … your table?” I answered “Absolutely! And here, use my sweater to cover you. That way it’s harder to find you.”

“Thank you, Mister Jaime,” he replied.

One minute later, I heard a big “aahhhh” and “Sofia, I see you,” followed it. The next 30 seconds were full of continuous yelling and running. Meanwhile, the little kid hiding under the table listened quietly, feeling very secure in his possibility of winning.

The kid who was “it” came to my desk near the little one’s hiding place. He was very excited about the game and was doing a really great job. He had found almost everyone! The rule was that the last kid to be found was the winner and was the next one to be “it,” so the stakes were high! He took a quick look under my table and left. I smiled. Two minutes later, a couple of kids were found and the game was over. My little hider had won!

To me, this moment is what the Urban Ecology Center is about. Playing Hide and Seek in a safe place is a memory commonly passed down and told to children by children. In this same way, we want to create experiences that are talked about and taught from child to child, becoming living memories inside of them all.

The Menomonee Valley branch, like the little kid under my desk, is hidden, like a precious stone that has to be found, but once it’s found — it’s a winner. It’s a place for fun, excitement, learning and unity. A place where generations and generations of visitors, Young Scientists and volunteers can enjoy and share with each other and their loved ones. And most importantly, it’s a place where they can come back, a place where they are always welcome and at home.

Photo Credit: Faisal Akram, @EtherPhotography [+] i_am_ether@hotmail.com
Jaime Cano

Jaime Cano

Jaime Cano Lopez was born in Sevilla, España. He came to Wisconsin in 2014 and after a very rough first winter he has fully embraced this great state as home. Jaime is the Visitor Services Specialist at the Menomonee Valley branch, where the community can enjoy his humor and joy. In his free time he likes to travel, play sports, and enjoy nature with his lovely wife, dog and cat.


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