We take our rurally raised kids to the neighborhoods of Chicago frequently.
To neighborhoods where friends live so that they can ride bicycles down city sidewalks to a park and walk to ice cream shops for a sweet treat instead of driving to one.
We take them to art museums and science centers, not just museums labeled "children's museums".
---side note-I'm not a fan of children's museums at all. We stopped going when Zoe was in cancer treatment since she couldn't be in germy environments. And to me, a children's museum is germville headquarters.---
We touch stingrays at zoos, hear concert pianists play at our local university, learn about history in our state's capital, and we skateboard.
Well, I don't skateboard.
And neither does Chad.
But, Gigi has a skateboard that she received for her birthday last year.
And we hadn't taken her to our lone skate park yet.
So, this morning she gathered her knee pads.
Put on her elbow pads and fingerless gloves.
And yelled at us to "hurry up!"
"Yes, I have my helmet, let's go!"
Once she was there and geared up, SAFETY FIRST, she shuttled her little self all over the skate park.
She did pretty good for someone who hadn't done it before.
The most skateboarding she had done prior was rolling from our living room to our dining room.
Gigi is pretty fearless with her body.
While she has struggled with some social anxiety and separation issues, she's never been afraid to climb, jump, or crash herself through life.
Her life that has only existed for a mere 6 1/2 years so far.
Her big sister has always been a bit more trepidacious.
Afraid of getting hurt, falling.
Because, I think, she spent so much time sitting in a hospital bed.
Or her own bed because she was too tired to do anything.
We worried for her and her bones that had had leukemia coursing through them, but we always tried not to voice our concerns too much.
Zoe is more brave on a different level than her little sister.
Zoe has no qualms about playing the piano in front of her entire school in a talent show.
Or acting in a play in the theater group she was in last summer.
Two things her sister wouldn't have been able to do.
Zoe did try skateboarding today.
But, was a bit more careful.
I'm glad that these two sisters are willing to try new things.
And knowing that they are curious, that their interests are peaked often, I think we are on the right track of this parenting ride.