Last Thursday, I visited a preschool for Sophia in the neighboring Society Hill. Admittedly, I was hesitant to commit to the visit as it required me to take time off from work and also because I don’t like change. I am not sure if I am ready for her to go to school. Nevertheless, as I started walking away from my car and toward the pretty little street on which this preschool was situated, I saw old houses, cobblestones and historical markers all around me documenting people, places and events in centuries past. I took my time reading the signs because for as long as I have lived in Philadelphia, and as much as I walked these very streets, there is something new to discover. Always.
One day, my kids will be sitting in a classroom in school looking at a history book and reading about Betsy Ross or Benjamin Franklin. Instead of reading and picturing their life, it is my sincere wish that they will know what it feels like to stand on a sunny day in front of the building where our nation’s declaration of independence was signed. That they know where, unbeknownst to the throngs of tourists, early in the spring there are beautiful blooms on the oldest continually residential street in America. They will understand diversity and a fast pace of life. They will appreciate what it feels like to walk to a farmer’s market on a Sunday morning, to wander surrounding neighborhoods learning the secrets each one holds.
As we embark on the next chapter of our lives, searching for a new permanent place to live, I cannot stop but reflect on the following. I am who I am, we live how we live, for better or for worse. I hold no illusions that my life and the choices we make are better than that of most other people.