So, when we went into the big city for our Labor Day get-away, I never told about our adventures on the light rail.
And since it further illustrates my desire to make sure our kids see life from a different perspective (see this post), here you go:
I was pleased as punch to get our kids out on a little adventure and figured riding our city's relatively new light rail system would be fun for the kids. We wanted to go to the art museum, so what a better way to get there than on that thing?
Dave kindly obliged, and we all melted in the heat while waiting for a train to come pick us up.
It was a baseball game day, so the particular train that pulled into the station was packed. Dave and I got split up with a few kids each and ended up at different doors, he rolling his eyes at me over the crowd at the fact that we didn't just take the car.
But I was in Heaven. This was an adventure. There was the humongous homeless guy spilling out of his wheelchair (and his tank top). And the totally drunk girl taking up three seats with all her stuff while everyone stood hoovering around her wishing she'd move over. There was the guy covered in tattoos with a big, huge knife attached to his belt. And the smell...man oh man, the smell rivaled some of the smells in New York subway stations.
Yes. This was what I had been craving for my kids. For an opportunity to realize not everything is surrounded in safe white picket fences like it is in our little corner of the world. Not everyone has a home and an opportunity to go to school with a tight-knit group of kids who are great examples and role models. This, even if it was just a little sliver of time and experience, was more like real life. And as much as I want my kids to be protected and coddled to a certain extent, I want them to know that the world is so diverse. And that diversity makes it interesting...and good.
I envisioned the talks that would ensue after our ride, rainbows and butterflies around our family as we fed the hungry at a homeless shelter, the compassion that would suddenly fill them and all the new ideas they would have to change the world.
As we spilled out of the train at our stop, leaving that sea of "diversity," Dave commented to me sarcastically, "Now that was sure worth it." And the kids? Well, they didn't say much. They were on to the next thing...how to endure that art museum with their Mom whispering in their ears the whole time about how awesome all that crazy stuff on the walls was.
I thought it was so interesting how differently we all took that short little ride. I guess the people next to Dave had the most foul language he'd heard in a while and his question was why in the world would we want to expose our kids to that stuff?
Yes, I see his point. But as much as I do appreciate and thank Heavenly Father every day for the life we live here in the desert, sometimes I'm glad to have a little snippet of the "real world" to remind me (and my family) that there is a whole world out there full of people who think differently, live differently, believe differently. And all that diversity is so good (except for the darn foul language which I personally can't stand).
Some may need help and we grow and become our better selves as we reach outside of ourselves to them, others we can learn endlessly from, and our world is better because we have them in it.
I love to think of how different the same world looks to each of us, even within the same little corner we live in.