How many times have you heard this phrase before. It is so true even in the city. Wookpark, a neighbourhood in Ottawa, that was our little village. It is a very close knit community with a neighbourhood association that organizes community events and even has a Facebook page for community to keep in touch.
We were renting in a triplex in Woodpark so the owners had was someone to rake the leaves, shovel the snow and cut the grass. Needless to say the kids were quite pampered in that respect. In reality, they didn’t really understand hard labour chores as they never needed to do it.
Last Fall Matthew went to a grade 8 information session at school about a trip to Europe. It was quite pricey. He insisted that he wanted to go. I told him that if he wanted to go, he had to somehow come up with the money. The trip was going to be in the spring of 2016 so he had about 18 months to earn and pay for the trip. I told him that he better figure out to raise money fast. He couldn’t work outside of the home as he was too young so we decided that he should put an ad up on the Woodpark Facebook page to see if anyone in the neighbourhood had any thing they needed help with. He decided that he would like to be a dog walker or a baby sitter. After a few days, someone responded to the ad saying that they didn’t need either but wanted someone to rake leaves. When we got the respond, Matthew refused to take it. He said that he didn’t sign up for it and knew that it would be alot of work. He said that he only wanted to dog walk or baby sit! I told him that it was an opportunity to make money and not something you should walk away from. Especially since no one needed a dog walker or baby sitter. He finally decided to take it begrudgingly. I of course had to go with him.
What a great experience for him. It was 2 hours of hard labour. He bagged 16 bags of leaves, I helped out a bit and so did his brother Andrew till he realized that Matthew wasn’t going to pay him. He said he need all the money for this trip. Wow, I don’t think he had ever done so much manual work before in his life. The owners were very generous and he was paid more than he expected so he did end up paying his brother. Now he understands what it means to work for your money.
Many lessons learned from one great neighbour. When you are first starting out, you have to be willing to do anything. Never pass up on any opportunities if it makes sense.
He also ended up getting 2 dog walking gigs and one baby sitting. The dog walking was only twice a week, one dog a week. It was a lesson on organising your time. Being a sparadic vers an everyday job, sometimes he would forget to go and then he would have to explain to the owners. Other times he would have to reschedule due to his school schedule. After a while, he took responsibility and I didn’t have to remind him anymore too.
Andrew being 11 also took on a once a week dog walking job. Wow, different personality, he would always remember his dog walking days. I started walking with him every week. Unfortunately it kinda interfered with my cooking time, so he had to do it on his own. He was hesitant to do it himself but realized he didn’t really have a choice. Sometimes I think he liked the company.
I lived in Woodpark for 4 years, what a great community, with great friends. It has been a great 4 years. The children have grown up and matured over that time and it had a lot to do with the community, neighbours and opportunities. We have now moved on now to a new city. Life is a journey, with many changes. We enjoyed our life in Woodpark, and really miss it. Now we are on our new adventure.