Sunday, April 03, 2011
I am actually panicking because I read somewhere at some point that children's perceptions of the world begin to solidify from the age of 8. Am I going to get this family abroad before Isaac turns 8? It's not looking great. But we are about to embark on a drive across the country and if I recall correctly from the last time I did such a thing, it was one of the most foreign experiences I've ever had.
I've been to 16 countries. I don't recall weeping for extended periods of time while traveling through any of them. However, I can't say the same for my time in Wyoming and Montana, for example. I'm just not a wild west kind of girl. These places, their emptiness and landlocked culture unnerve me, despite the fact that Glacier National Park was possibly the favorite stop on our drive. Apart from that, Mike nearly dropped me off unceremoniously somewhere outside of Butte because I couldn't stop blubbering.
Isaac just showed me a binder he's working on at school of the different sections of the country. We'll use it to track our route. I couldn't help but notice that he wrote “Momtana,” and that the label for Wyoming was upside down, that state alone not colored in. Perhaps I'm not the only family member that has a hard time grasping these places.
I want Isaac to know – to really get it – that not everyone lives like us, that there are choices, diversity, landscapes and traditions that dictate very different days. I want him to appreciate this point. I want him to spend time living in some of these different days. But I drag with me to the table of best intentions my biases.
While reading his UNICEF Children Just Like Me book the other day, Isaac shook his head slowly and thoughtfully. “Africa sure has some cool people,” he said. I love that kid. How right he must be. When I think about the African continent I have no doubt that given the first opportunity I'd go get whatever battery of shots necessary and jump on a plane in a second. But North Dakota? Idaho? Oklahoma? What will protect me in these foreign lands?
Here are some shots from our last cross country adventure. 38 days til take off.