This past weekend we went to San Francisco with our kids. We have taken a few trips through the years and I have good memories from all of them. One year Jason and I took my mom to a Giants game while I was pregnant with Camden. It was fun, but all I remember from that trip is having to pee constantly as I was very far along in my pregnancy. The best trip I can recall is when Jason and I were newly dating and he took me to my first Giants game and to a lovely Italian restaurant. I remember going when I was in elementary school on a field trip and thinking it was the coolest place ever. I loved the museums and walking the Golden Gate Bridge. One year I went to Alcatraz, and a few trips I have been to Pier 39. My point is San Francisco has some very fun things to do, but every time I go back it never seems to hold the same appeal for me and it’s never the way I remember it.
All I could focus on was the large amounts of traffic, people, and busyness of the city. There are homeless everywhere, there are people trying to sell you something everywhere, there is trash everywhere. We walked by a pile of poop on the sidewalk. As a child I don’t remember any of this. I remember San Francisco being beautiful and exciting. Maybe I have grown more cynical with age or maybe it is because I am blessed to live in a beautiful city that does not have a large population or homeless epidemic, but San Francisco is not the city for me. I don’t mind visiting, but I would never live there.
The upside to my story is that my children act like they don’t notice any of this. To them the city is beautiful and they are happy to be visiting a new place with their family. The traffic and the amount of people is exciting to them. They don’t notice the trash on the ground. They laugh at the poop on the sidewalk. In their childlike minds they don’t focus on the negative. The homeless and those trying to sell something on the street are not really concepts they quite understand yet and so it means nothing to them. It is all new and different and exciting to them.
I love that my kids see the world differently from me. I love that they can see the positive and find the joy in a situation. I love their innocence and their curious questions. And I know as they grow that they will become more aware and maybe the world will become less magical to them, but for now I will relish in their innocence and it’s a good reminder to try and see the world through the eyes of a child.