My favorite game to play is “If we won the lottery…”

I always have lots of ideas about what we would do with the money (after taxes and tithes), but my very first priority is always to TRAVEL. I want to take our kids to far away places—and places that are close but different—so they can see how beautiful the world is and appreciate how serene our little corner is when we get back home.

In one of my favorite books, Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, she says,

We travel because I want my kids to learn, as I learned, that there are a million ways to live, a million ways to eat, a million ways to dress and speak and view the world. I want them to know that “our way” isn’t the right way, but just one way, that children all over the world, no matter how different they seem, are just like the children in our neighborhood—they love to play, to discover, to learn. I want my kids to learn firsthand and up close that different isn’t bad, but instead that different is exciting and wonderful and worth taking the time to understand. I want them to see themselves as bit players in a huge, sweeping, beautiful play, not as the main characters in the drama of our living room.

So where would we go? Lots of places, I think. But my first stop would be New York City, for lots of reasons. Where better, first of all, for them to see how different people live?

Also I love New York City, because the sounds are so different from what we have here on our little farm in the south. I love the honking, the humming, the buzz. They represent activities that our kids don’t participate in on a daily basis, for example public transportation. These sounds educate our kids about life in the city in a way that I could never communicate with mere words. They can just FEEL the city.

And because it’s fall in the south which means it’s still 90 degrees blazing hot on most days, my first stop would be NYC just so we could feel the breeze and see some fall leaves. While we might be wearing tank tops and pouring sweat at soccer practice, if we could travel to NYC we could stroll through Central Park and hear the crunch of fallen leaves under our feet and the barking of dogs fetching frisbies, and suddenly October is my favorite month again. I feel like the word AUTUMN means something different in New York than it does in the south.

Central Park in the fall—insert swoon.

Central Park in the fall—insert swoon.

Once upon a time, five years ago, my mom took me and the girls to New York to celebrate my third daughter’s fifth birthday (that’s almost confusing!!) and to show all three girls a little bit of the city. Here’s a picture of us having tea in the plaza…the three of them were so cute and tiny, and I was in my third trimester with our fifth baby. Can’t wait to do this again one day!

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