My oldest grandson is seven and a half. The youngest is only fourteen months. The oldest has gone and done so many things, experienced and adventured, thanks to his parents. They know the value of exposing him to new things. He loves dinosaurs, museums, aquariums and many other activities. While the little one is really too young to remember his adventures, he’s bowled at the International Bowling Museum, been to several zoos and even stood next to a race horse jockey after the tenth race and received the rider’s goggles. His parents also know the value of exposing him to new and different things.
When I taught, we took a group of 8th graders—thirteen and fourteen year olds—to Houston on buses. Houston from our school was probably fifty or sixty miles south. One young man sat in silence as the country road passed into tall buildings, intertwined highways and few tall trees. I asked him if something was the matter. He looked at me with big eyes, a wondering expression and said, “I’ve never been out of M— County. I’ve never been to Houston.” My own jaw dropped. This was not an impoverished child yet he’d never had an opportunity to expand his horizons.
Which makes me grateful when parents take their children into new worlds and let them see the past, the present and future possibilities.