summer in the city


This is the Bee’s last week of going to day camp at our local kids’ science museum. It’s a place that’s close to my office, and it’s been kind of nice commuting with her again. After I dropped her off today, I was on the way to work, and I started thinking about how glad I am that she’s having this experience.

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post that was sort of loosely on the subject of race and the suburbs. My gladness with the Bee’s summer experience is related to that. We live outside of one of the biggest cities in the country, and yet I know quite a few folks who go there maybe once a year. For the most part, middle class folks where I live aren’t always eager to go into the city. They complain about the parking, complain about the traffic, and the crime, but they don’t really spend time there, they just repeat what they see on the local news.

I’ve worked in this city for seven years, and yet when I go there with my kids, I’m able to see it with new eyes. When the Bee was a toddler, and still came to work with me at least once a week, we would pass a huge mural on the way to my office. Every time, she would point out the ‘dragon hair woman’ to me, and I would see it afresh.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Bee complains about sitting in traffic as much as any commuter does. But having her in the city with me means we get to stop at the local roach coach at the end of the day to grab a water or a snack. Or she takes off her sandals and walks through a fountain (hopefully without falling on her butt and getting all wet, which did happen once). Or we get to have, as we did today, a conversation about birth control (how do I get into these conversations? I’m not really sure.).

I’m glad that she won’t grow up intimidated about going there. But you can check back in nine years–I may have changed my mind when she’s figured out how to get there by herself on the train.

* Picture courtesy of


August 15, 2006. growing up, thoughtful parenting. 11 comments.