It takes a carb-loaded village to raise a child

By Melanie Yingst

When I was little, I thought The Fox and the House restaurant on the second floor of Lazarus was the most elite dining option in the world. The waitresses wore white shirts just like on TV. It was dimly lit, even in the middle of the day. Eating in the dark meant it was super sophisticated. Everyone knows eating in the dark is super classy. Just like on “Young and the Restless.”

I remember how I would always order a club sandwich. This was my usual order, not because I liked bacon and tomatoes, but because it came with “fancy” toothpicks.

The bar was set low early in my life as you can tell. But it’s one of the quirky things I remember about growing up.

So I had a big chuckle this week when I came across the Mayor’s Youth Council’s “How can Troy be Improved? ” and “What is good about Troy?” lists.

Each year, Troy middle schoolers are selected to participate in this fun program. They get to hang out with Mayor Beamish and friends and learn how the city works on a variety of levels. The best part? Getting to sit in the Mayor’s chair. It is a super cool chair.

I wonder how many kids think Mayor Mike is the President of the U.S.?

So from the mouths of babes, what do our children think of our town?

The number one thing the Mayor’s Youth Council shared that they’d like to see improved in Troy is “air conditioned schools.” Interesting note considering the Troy City School district is currently fielding questions on how to move forward with its aging facilities — all of which lack air conditioning with the exception of the junior high. Lord knows we need to keep that hormone house nice and cool. I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy after all.

The second most requested improvement for our dear city was a Sky Zone trampoline park. So we went from the lack of cool air during math class to wishing there was a facility full of trampolines in the city limits.

That’s a big leap.

Then, the kids want an Olive Garden. Of all the places we have to chose from here in Troy, the kids want an Olive Garden. Cool air, a place to bounce off the walls and free bread sticks. With all those carbs, those kids are going to need to bounce off some of that energy.

Other improvements included a Dick’s Sporting Goods, better soccer fields, a go-kart course, an IHOP (um, I agree), more trees, Red Robin, safe bike ways, a 5 Below, Target, a movie theater and a place that offers soft serve ice cream and pizza.

Of all the “improvements” listed, my personal favorite request was more trees. I agree kids. Life is better when there are more trees.

While their wish list was full of dreams and carbs, the kids took time to share what they appreciate about their hometown in a list called “What is good about Troy.”

The majority stated the most wonderful thing about their city is: Chick-fil-A.

These kids love their food, I’m telling ya. Does anyone cook at home anymore? Kids sure get excited about new places to eat, but I guess we do too here in the newsroom. Meetings, court hearings, council issues…hey! When’s Restaurant X going to open? The public needs to know! We totally get it kids.

The youth council listed sports programs as the second greatest thing in Troy. I’m sure sports editor David Fong would agree. Third place goes to Schools, then Nature Preserve with K’s and Hobart Arena rounding out the most votes. I do like how two kids noted the Sno Shack and angled parking. Nothing says welcome to town like sno-cones and angled parking you know?

All in all, the children are our future and it takes a village (with angled parking) to raise a child. So as long as we keep this village of ours cool and full of chicken and breadsticks, I think they’ll be just fine.

But for now, go plant a tree and bring me some waffle fries.

By Melanie Yingst

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She’s a sucker for fancy straws, too.

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She’s a sucker for fancy straws, too.