Think about how small a child’s world is. They have their room. Their house. School. The occasional trip they get to take.
But you? The whole world is open to you. You can go anywhere, see anything, buy whatever. From this wonderful privilege comes an obligation to share and enlighten, to find a way to bring your experiences home with you and expose your children to the wonders of the world.
We talked about Wilbur and Orville Wright’s father who liked to bring home cool toys from the road. There is a story about Sandra Day O’Connor in Evan Thomas’s great book, First. “During one of Washington’s every-seventeen year eruptions of dormant cicadas,” he writes, “Connor collected a batch of the large, dead insects and sent them in a shoebox to her grandchildren in Arizona.”
Her clerk was baffled, but like the Wrights’ father, O’Connor wanted her children and grandchildren to be curious. She wanted to expose them to things. She wanted to give them a glimpse into her world. She wanted to help them see into the big crazy world out there, the one even beyond her reach and understanding.
It doesn’t matter how old they are. It doesn’t matter how old you are. We have to do this as often and as regularly as we can. Find things you think will inspire or challenge or interest your kids and grandkids. Make sure they get it.
This is our job. It’s our obligation. And it should be our joy.