I'm in New York City today -- sans kids -- so my thoughts today are a bit of a whirlwind. In just the few hours I've been here (my plane touched down 6 hours ago), I've experienced more new sights, sounds and people than I do in a month back home.
I've watched street vendors kneeling, shoes off, on prayer rugs facing Mecca. I've strolled through the diamond district. I saw a mobile movie set, stood in line for over an hour in Times Square (I scored a half-price ticket to Mary Poppins!) and heard more languages than I could identify.
Yes, I live in a small town. Yes, my town of not-quite 5000 lacks in diversity. But wherever you're from, there are new worlds to explore, often a lot closer than you think.
The boys aren't with me this trip, so I can only imagine what they'd think. I'm guessing this wouldn't be their favorite place in the world; my boys are more at home in nature than in urban settings. But I know they'd soak it all in. Without me saying a word, they'd see and learn and recognize one big lesson: Not everyone lives like us.
They know that, of course, but it's a powerful lesson to reinforce. The more you expose your sons to other places, people and ways of doing things, the more they'll realize that the world is full of possibilities. There is no one right way to be, one right way to live. Anything is possible, and it's up to them to envision and then obtain the future that's right for them.
Our job, as parents, is to show them the world and support them as they create the future.