A recent entry talks about the questions of strangers the family meets on the road, strangers who are particularly interested in how the two kids (both under 5 years of age) are adapting to life on the road.
"We want their comfort zone to be wide, and include the world and every culture and person in it",
writes one parent in the Jan 23 blog entry.
I was really touched by this response.
It seems as though many of us talk a good talk about parenting to create open minded, critically thinking children. But few of us actually put our money where our mouths are, in that we are afraid, sometimes, to live in ways which may be sacrificial yet educational for both ourselves and our children. If we want our kids' comfort zones to be wide, we need to widen our own, first!
It is, of course, easier to be open minded and try new things and make sacrifices when we have a few instances of "absolute" stability in our lives. I use quotation marks there because I realise there is no real certainty about the stability in our lives; as my mentor Barrie Bennett once noted, "We're all just a banana peel away from becoming a parapalegic"!
And yet, it seems to me that there are certain core foundations that can help us be open to new adventures and new ideas. A strong family structure, for example, gives us the confidence to live out in the world, and learn new customs and explore new cultures. The certainty of LOVE and acceptance, whether it comes from this same family, or from our God, or from some other stable force in our lives, can propel us forward in our thinking, and allow us to engage with concepts and opportunities that might never speak to us if we are too busy "sweating the small stuff"...
This family -- one can tell from their website -- is fortunate to be made up of such people. Four people, two of them very small, who have the gift of stability in their very souls. I envy them the feedom this stability affords them, and I applaud the parents for instilling in the children a sense of inclusiveness by broadening their horizons at such a very young age.
These parents are building a wide comfort zone for their children. Indeed, their very presence on the road widens the comfort zones of the strangers they meet each day of their trip.
God bless the Pedal Powered Family and others like it!