I grew up in a middle class family. If you’re younger than 20, you probably don’t know what “middle class” is. Let me explain.
Long ago, before “The Hunger Games”, there was a part of America known as the middle class. It was made up of people who had block parties and garage sales and lemonade stands. These people used to walk their kids to the bus stop and most of them had swing sets.
And that was us, we were middle class. Some might say “upper middle class,” but we weren’t rich. We had a normal sized house (smaller than most of my friends’ homes in high school actually), and we were comfortable. We traveled and had weekly family date nights. We went to the movies and my sister and I got new clothes and toys during holidays and sometimes just because. We took classes at the local community center and were enrolled in summer day camps. We also played outside a lot.
When you’re a kid how you’re being raised is normal because you don’t know anything else. So for me participating in all the activities my sister and I participated in wasn’t something to necessarily appreciate because it was…normal. As I kid I knew about the importance of gratitude, circumstantially.
See, I was grateful for food because I’d seen poverty in India. I was grateful for the bed I slept in because I’d seen homelessness on the streets of Amsterdam. But didn’t all kids take ice skating lessons? Weren’t all kids signed up for swim and dive class?
Since my son was born last year I’ve been eager to recreate a lot of the childhood experiences I had for him specifically all the extra curricular activities I was involved in. But then I found infant swim lessons for $300 and new mom play groups that were $60 to $100 per session. New York Mamas say WHAAT? (We’ll stick to the free meetups, thanks.) And I realized how much my parents must have re-prioritized their wants so that my sister and I could have so many of the daily adventures we had. Whether it was going on family bike rides after dinner, or taking art classes they really invested their time and money into giving us exciting experiences.
My boy is a baby right now. He can’t play pee-wee anything at the moment so instead of thinking about future ice hockey lessons that will probably cost $1500 I try my best to make everyday things feel like an adventure for him because I never want his sense of adventure to be tied to a dollar amount. A trip to the post office is all about the flag flying so high outside! and all the cool boxes we can see and count when we stand in line! A stroll by the water is about seeing so many birds! and how the ducks swim in the water!
And now that the weather in New York is starting to warm up I’m so excited about getting back out to the farmer’s market and to the local community garden. It’ll be such a great adventure for our little guy to learn about locally grown fruits and vegetables, see all the beautiful colors and meet so many new people! And then we can take that adventure back home into our kitchen and straight to our table for a family meal prepared with love.
I don’t know what our economy will be like in 10 years or what tax bracket my husband and I will be in. But I do know that whether we’re taking our boy skiing in the Swiss Alps, or to the local fire house to see all the big red trucks, I want him to be able to find adventure in everything around him. So even a simple stroll by the river to see the seagulls and ducks creates an afternoon of adventure for our family.
For more fairy-themed adventure, the all-new Tinker Bell move The Pirate Fairy is coming out on Blu-ray™ and Digital HD. It will be available April 1; you can purchase it or follow the Disney Fairies Facebook page for more info and fun.
Check out Disney’s The Pirate Fairy Pinterest board for more fun ideas!”