Daylight Savings time ended, we flew back in time to Chicago, then forward to Europe. We aren’t sure what day it is, much less what time zone we’re in.
A quick walk around the city on this cloudy, drizzly day opened our eyes to the bigger differences we’re taking on.
A few weeks ago, Gordie encouraged us all to work harder on our Italian lessons. Today, when Gardner got an unwanted toasted sandwich, I think she finally grasped the importance of language training. “Wait, I need to know more than ‘grazie’ and ‘ciao’?” (Which hints at another milestone: Mom and Dad don’t know everything?!?)
As adults, we know that the world is full of people of all colors and cultures, but until you experience those differences, it’s a hard concept to grasp for a young person with no point of reference. Maybe for a grown person, too. It’s something you have to experience with all five senses. (Luckily, the sense of taste is super easy in Italy!)
In my mind, that’s what this whole adventure abroad is about: creating an understanding for the varieties that make up our world-both big and small-and sharing that spice with our girls. Experiencing other continents and cultures could possibly be the best education they can receive. Understanding that just because we are citizens of the greatest country on Earth (we ARE proud to be American!), doesn’t mean we can’t learn from our fellow humans around the globe. In the words of my worldly friend Peggy, we can lose some of our rigidity in our thoughts, ideas and manners and accept that maybe we all have something we can learn from others AND IT’S O.K.