Our kids are city kids. I’ve often wondered how this would affect them. Do kids need a backyard in order to thrive? Is their life too frenetic? Are they growing up too quickly because of what they are exposed to daily? Maybe. (to all of the above)
But, something happened today as we were driving around our city. We saw a man standing on the divider, in the middle of the street. He didn’t have a sign, but he was making a motion with his hands that said he needed to eat. “Do we have something we can give him?” I asked. The kids immediately started searching the car. “There! You have money in the console.” My mother’s heart was so full in that moment. Not only were they not frightened by this man approaching our car, but their immediate response was to tear up the car looking for anything that would help. There was an understanding that we want to do for others what we can. But, there was also an everyday quality to their response. I could almost hear my son think, “It’s no big deal. Everyone gets hungry. Share when you have it to give.” (My son does this thing where he goes, “Hmh,” nods his head, and lifts one shoulder. It speaks volumes. You’d have to see him do it, to understand.)
We may get to have a backyard someday, but in the meantime I will try to watch for the ways that the city is giving to my kids. There are lessons to be learned, that extend beyond the museums, libraries, and parks. There are joys that come from living right up against each other. Let’s hope I don’t miss them because I’m checking out other people’s backyards!
Here’s one of our favorites. If you need some inner city love, you need to watch this:
Do not click on link if Flight of the Concords offends you.:)