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Quality Friday: City Love.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Quality Friday: City Love.

When J and I first got married I said I would never live past Maple Grove, MN. I'd grown up minutes from downtown, gone to college in Chicago and downtown Minneapolis and was absolutely not going to be one of those 'suburban people'.

Fast forward, about thirty home showings, one botched offer on my (at the time) dream house and we moved 12 more miles northwest of my supposed final-destination.

I was the one who eventually found our development and brought J saying yes, this is where I want to live.

For the most part, I don't mind where we live. We have nice neighborhoods and good schools. It is safe for our kids.

But...there are other things that bother me.

The lack of trees for instance. The cookie cutter looks of the homes and neighborhoods. The lack of diversity. How sometimes I feel like living out here our kids are too sheltered.

I'm really a city girl at heart.

My parents made sure that we were exposed to lots of different things, people and cultures. The houses had character and years of history. And it was still safe. In the summer we would play outside and run up and down the cul-de-sac from morning until night.

Sometimes one of the kids will say something or ask a question about something and I realize just how different live out here is. I want them to have rich experiences that teach them about life. Where they know that there is more than just suburban upper middle class Minnesota.

I think that regardless of where you live, it's our job as parents to teach our kids about life. Bringing diversity to them if needed and taking opportunities to take them places where they will see and hear and smell and touch and experience more of life.

Last week when my dad called and asked if I'd be willing to drive him to the airport on Tuesday I realized it would be the perfect time for such an opportunity. Since we would already be that direction, why not park and take the kids on the light rail. (Minnesota's version of a train transit system.) T and M had never been on it and since they love the el in Chicago, I figured it was a safe bet they'd enjoy this.

So we went and found parking at Fort Snelling and walked over to the station.

Buying our tickets.

The tickets for the lightrail are 'on your honor' but an officer can check at any time and if you don't have one the fine is $180. T and M both clenched their tickets tightly waiting for someone to come around and check but no one checked either of the times we rode.

On the train.
"Train ride. Train ride. Train ride." He kept repeating.
I promised the kids that once we made it downtown we'd find somewhere to get a treat. I was thinking something like ice cream but as soon as they saw this 'CandyLand' it was all over.

I, of course, got my own treat at Starbucks. (No caffeine, thank you very much.)

We did a little more exploring downtown before we headed to the new Minneapolis library. If you haven't been here yet, GO. It is not only an incredible building architecturally but it is fun as well.

The children's department can be summed up in one word: AMAZING.

After our busy afternoon we met L for some Brueggers before we hopped on the train (during rush hour) to head back to our car and head home.

I loved our day in the city, and the kids did too. I am so thankful that they are open to experiences, that they are open to people, open to differences. I loved hearing their questions and ideas about things. It confirmed to me that, yes indeed, we need more of this.

This Quality Friday, I am thankful for the diverse upbringing I was able to have and excited and inspired to try to instill the same ideas and values into these lives we're working on raising.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The lack of trees for instance. The cookie cutter looks of the homes and neighborhoods. The lack of diversity. How sometimes I feel like living out here our kids are too sheltered."

I have exactly the same problem with our neighborhood, but our neighbors outweigh the negatives. I do really miss trees. It looks like you and your family had a great day out and about, seeing things that aren't in your usual day to day. And if you figure out how to balance shletered and street smart, let me know, okay? :)

June 20, 2008 at 8:55 AM  
Anonymous dadio said...

its always fun to run free on the sreet from morning to night .

enjoy the times

love to all................


June 20, 2008 at 9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful way to spend the day. Wish I could have joined you all. Looks like everyone enjoyed the day. Love aunt Janet

June 22, 2008 at 12:08 PM  

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