Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cheating The Littlest One

Even though The Biggest One was born in South Texas, she was raised in San Diego.  Middie was raised there, until we moved here.  Though she was young when we moved, I think she will keep a lot of memories of our time there, and certainly the impact of all the things we did, and her experiences will carry forward with her.  The Littlest One, though, she won't remember San Diego, at all.  She was so small, that the fact that she was born there will just be something written on a piece of paper to her.  She is a Native San Diegan by word only.
That really breaks my heart.
I love San Diego.  I love the culture.  I love the atmosphere.  I love all that there is to do with my children.  I tried to take advantage of a lot of that, too.  As a result, I think I gave The Big Girls a pretty well rounded life experience before they started kindergarten.  I don't really believe that preschool is in any way necessary for a young child's development, and as long as you give them a great, well rounded life experience before school starts, they should be just fine, and maybe even fantastic, by the time they are ready to start school.  I think I was able to provide that for The Big Girls.  We did Sea World and the San Diego Zoo.  They were able to see all sorts of fantastic animals and shows.  They were able to learn a lot about the world around them.  The San Diego Zoo, one of my favorite places on earth, has a great program for moms groups.  They bring you in a little early before the zoo opens, and take you on a special tour of the zoo.  Each month there is a different theme and you get to learn about something very cool.  There was even story time at the end of each session.  It was fantastic.  The kids get to be exposed to so much that way.  We were doing that with our group every month before we left, and it was  seriously great.  We went to parks all the time.  We got out.  We played with out friends.  We got fresh air and exercise on a regular basis.
All that life experience is invaluable.
Now, though, we aren't in San Diego.  The weather is crappy most of the time.  We don't get to see the sun much, and it is freaking cold here during the winter and spring.  That means no outside time.  We rarely go outside, unless it is to run from the house to the car.  It sucks.  There is a Zoo, but it is more like a petting Zoo.  Besides, no other zoo compares to the San Diego Zoo.  IT really is the best.  There certainly isn't a Sea World anywhere near by.  We do have an aquarium, but there were a few of those in San Diego as well.  The fact is, there just isn't nearly as much to offer here as there was there.
The culture is also much different.  We are seriously lacking in cultural diversity here as compared to San Diego.  Seriously.  I went to the best Asian market we have here.  It was about the size of a convenience store.  That was it.  I guess I should be thankful we have one at all.
We just don't have what we are using to having in San Diego anymore.
I feel like The Big Girls got so much by living there, and by moving here, we are cheating The Littlest One out of all those opportunities to explore the world.  It isn't fair to her that she won't get to see dolphins any time we want, or check out a polar bear on a beautiful, sunny day. I wonder how it will affect her development as a person later on in life.
I can see a stark difference in the children who were raised here and The Biggest One.  They are already very close minded when it comes to anything that is different.  Telling them that a food is from another culture makes it gross, not interesting.  When they meet people who are new are different, and it takes a long time to welcome them in.  They simply haven't been exposed to anything, and have parents who aren't opening their world up, either.  It makes me sad.

The other day,  The Biggest One and I were watching Chopped.  One of the contestants said that she really needed the money because her partner was about to have a baby.  The Biggest One said that was really nice that she would just give that money to her friend.  I very simply told her that wasn't what partner meant.  It was more like a girl friend or wife.  The Biggest One's reply was "Oh, ok."  She just didn't get the term.  There was no big discussion needed.  There wasn't an astounded reaction.  She knows that any one can love anyone they want to because she has seen it with her own two eyes.  She knows there are two mommy households, and that isn't anything new or odd to her at all.  It's just a part of life as she knows it.
That is what I want for my kids.  I want them to love and respect diversity, and I fear greatly that they will miss out on all that by being here.

I'm really trying hard to find the good in our new home.
We do have some fantastic lakes, two huge ones really, with tons of parks around them, and even a make shift beach.  We have some other nifty attractions like the Lookout Mountain.  There is a lot of camping and hiking that can be done.  We also have a great Discovery Center that I think would actually put the Reuben H. Fleet to shame sometimes, or at the very least rival it well.
That's it, though.  So, I will have to seek out the best of our area that I can to try be the best parent that I can be here.  We can go down to Atlanta and visit their Aunt, to see what Atlanta has to offer.  We can hit the parks when it is warm.  I'll do the best that I can do with what I have, and hope, that I can give her what she needs, even if it isn't what I want.