Power of One iconPower of One

Ashley Aldrich

All around Seattle there are wonderful places that allow families to bond and make new amazing memories. Personally, Seattle has always been myescape. During my time in foster care I never truly knew when things were going to change or stay the same. It was great for me to be able to go to these places and create lasting memories that I will always carry with me. Some of my favorite places are the Gum Wall or Pike Place Market, the Pier, and the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Although the Gum Wall was recently erased and wiped clean, it is now providing a chance for new and sticky memories. Shortly after the de-gumming, my friend and I decided to contribute to the re-gumming of the wall. We spent a few minutes crafting images with our bright blue gum. This may not seem like much of an attractive destination, but for me and my friend it will be cool to go back later in life and find the exact pieces of gum that we placed.

Just above the Gum Wall is Pike Place Market. It is a maze of local vendors and shops; there is something for everyone, big and little! This location represents Seattle, not only the original city, but everything new about it as well. It’s a spot where no matter who you are or where you come from, you can feel at home. Although it is insanely tempting to spend money while there, the visit itself is 100% free. For foster families, the quality of time spent together is more important than money spent. A few years ago I bonded with one of my best friends at Pike Place by simply visiting our favorite shops and taking photos. This created memories that I won’t soon forget.

Another place to capture beautiful photos is the Pier. Walking the Pier and standing at the fence looking over the water as the sun sets creates one of the most stunning views you can find just south of the Space Needle. A very interesting thing on the Pier is the padlocks; there are clumps of them here and there that people keep adding to. They take one and choose a spot locking it in place and then throw the key in the water while making a wish. I intend to go back one day and leave my own mark on the city.

“During my time in care
I never truly knew when
things were going to change
or stay the same.
It was great to be able to
go to these places and create
lasting memories that
I will always carry with me.”

The final place would be the Olympic Sculpture Park. It’s not much of a park per se, as much as an outdoor museum. A few months ago I went with my grandma and we bonded while walking around. One of the last sculptures you come across is a gigantic head. From the sides and back you don’t realize that it is a face at first until you come to the front. I feel like this represents how being a foster child, you never know who someone is until you see them from all sides, and you should not judge anything or anyone by just the one side of them you see or know. The Olympic Sculpture Park creates a chance for foster kids and their family to experience the new side of Seattle.

As a youth in foster care being able to have places to create positive memories is fantastic because not all of our memories are great. The world constantly changes, but your memories stay the same. Every one of these places is a chance to have experiences that will last a lifetime and that can be revisited over and over.

So, if all that is taken from my journey is a bunch of places, then go off and make them count, make your visit to these wonderful locations all that you can!

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We welcome submissions of articles, poetry, artwork, and photography from our young readers who have experience in the foster care system and/ or homelessness. If you want to be, or have been, published in the Mockingbird Times visit www.mockingbirdsociety.org, call us at (206) 407-2134 or email us at youthprograms@ mockingbirdsociety.org. Note: Incoming letters to the editor and correspondence to youth under 18 years should be addressed to the Mockingbird Times and will be opened first by adult editorial staff.