We are urban dwellers. We live in a typical Toronto neighbourhood. We are near the subway, near the high street, and our house is very close to our neighbours. We share a driveway and have a postage stamp backyard. My kids spend far more time at the school playground or park then in their backyard. There are speed bumps on our street to slow down the harried drivers rushing to the Starbucks at the corner. My kids are city slickers and their world is defined by what they know.
This has never been more clear to me than tonight. My daughter and I lay down to read a bedtime story and she picked one of my faves from when I was a little girl, Jennifer’s Walk. (Just as a little aside, I looked this up to get you the link and found out that it is worth quite a bit of money…who knew?!) Anyway, I loved this book as a child and so do my kids. We revisit it every few months and love rejoining Jennifer on her adventure. Jennifer, unlike my kids, lives on a farm. Her walk takes her on an adventure of her own backyard past vegetable gardens, through fields, meeting horses and sheep, barely able to glimpse the top of her house from the spot where she knows she has gone far enough. Her backyard is full of surprises and hiding spots and adventure.
Tonight as we were reading about Jennifer running through the field of black eyed susan’s chasing butterflies my daughter exclaimed "Wow, Mommy! That field is almost as big as Starbucks!". Yup. No joke. That is her ruler from massiveness. Starbucks.
Then, in the distance on one of the shots of the whole area, you can see what I suspect is a lighthouse. I point to it and say "What do you think that is?". Without hesitation my 5 year old states "It must be the CN Tower." That’s my girl.
It’s not like we don’t ever get out of the city. Both of her grandparents have places in the country that we visit often but my children’s world is here and everything they know is measured against what is familiar. I know that my daughter would find it strange to walk out her front door and not be able to wave to her bestfriend across the street or walk to the grocery store and toy store and stop in to rent a video all within a few blocks from her house. I wonder what a child growing up on a farm would think? Goes to show you, perception definitely is reality.