Our night at the opera! So opportunity comes for cheap seats at the Opera in Paris and I’m looking for a good culture experience. I buy the tickets without even asking what was showing! Hoping for a ballet, I searched the internet to find it is a Greek tragedy with modern twist. After more reading, I see that it’s probably opposite of what my kids should see. After some interesting question and answer times, talking about when to close their eyes, we decide to try for the experience and it was amazing!!
This experience reminds me of a time when Eli was 5 and attended a funeral with us in Cambodia. As we walk into the home, we will realize that he is sitting next to the dead body which is now a couple of days old. Fortunately, he remained calm and the day was filled with questions about death. Not your typical 5 year old questions, real ones.
As we’ve watched our kids grow and mature, we’ve come to realize that this real life gathering of information while under our wing and guidance, has been all but gain. When we see the appalling, gastly, unpleasant, questionable, or odd things in our surroundings, we have chosen to point it out and discuss its meaning and our response instead of hiding it from our kids. Allowing mature discussions, prepares them for what will inevitably cross their paths. But, for many kids, a few years too late.
France, just as many of our journeys, provided many mature experiences to discuss. Our kids left with a respect for art, an opinion of how to tell the difference between art and lust, a respect for ancient cultures, a love for the French people, and a little less ethnocentrism than before. I’m so glad I got the chance to help lead them.
When I think about the American culture, I realize this is possible but searching out unique experiences may be out of your comfort zone. There is a bubble that we have to break through. This bubble feels safe but decreases realistic life experiences. Give me your ideas about how to walk your family through the “out of the bubble” experiences?!