Thursday, April 23, 2009

Show Them the World

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.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree! Experience as much as possible!

    Oh, and have fun! It sounds wonderful! Enjoy the show!

  2. My kids have learned more about the world by going on our vacations and such than just sitting at home reading about it.

  3. I totally agree! I grew up in a small town, but was fortunate to have parents who were really big on traveling. It was always interesting to come home and my friends had no real concept of the world (or even US) located outside their little bubble.

    Though I've found that it's not just people from small towns who are like this. A friend of my mom's who lives outside of LA has only ever travelled in southern California and Las Vegas. She fully believes every city in America is like LA or Vegas. Can you imagine??