This past weekend we traveled to the alpaca farm in upstate NY that's owned and operated by a close family friend. It's a special place -- in fact, we held our wedding there. I remember H experiencing her first instance of sitting on grass there. She was 10 months old. Sometimes the differences of growing up in the city are thrown into sharp relief.
This past weekend H would have spent every waking second outside if she could have. She had great fun traveling between the alpaca barn and the pond briming with frogs. She made strides toward being more comfortable with dogs -- Cubby the Pomeranian is smaller than our cat, what's not to love? She also saw: deer, cows, horses, a snake, geese and baby geese (so fluffy), and a bunny.
I am a city kid. I grew up in NYC, attended public schools, and ride the subway every day. I appreciate not needing to own a car and being able to order in food from a dozen different countries any time of the day or night. And I adore Central Park and Prospect Park for the taste of nature they offer. But sometimes it doesn't seem like it's enough. I was struck when conducting video interviews with scientists at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City that several of the scientists found their passion by getting down in the dirt and observing and exploring nature as kids. Of course everything's a trade off. Country kids don't have the same access to diversity and culture that H has. How do you balance your life choices with what your kids miss out on? It's clear to me we need to go back to the alpaca farm soon.