This life.


It was late afternoon rush hour downtown. Bo and I had been out all day, with tired feet and gelato stained sleeves. We climbed onto a streetcar surrounded by throngs of Toronto dwellers at the end of their working day. Crammed into a crowded street car we started on the journey through the city. Bo pressed her face against the streetcar window and licked the window, laughing. The person behind us reached out gently and moved her face away, ‘don’t do that sweetheart,’ the young man said, ‘it’s so dirty…’ Bo responded with a grin and a cheesy greeting to her new best friend. Every time the street car stopped to let people on and off into the sea of suits and graffiti covered walls outside Bo yelled great greetings to the passengers. hello’s and bye-bye’s thrown around to a sea of faces who she had never seen but who she was so open to connect with. I watched as the people sitting near us rotated as some departed and new people boarded the car. Bo chatted and sang with and laughed and climbed on and kissed at least 20 different people on the 1.45 minute street car ride from one side of town to the other… people of all walks of life. People dressed in suits and others in fishnet stockings and piercings… People from all over the world. Toronto is home to one of the most diverse cross sections of cultures in the world, after all.

It amazes me, every day, how gentle and beautiful and kind most people are. Not just here in Canada, but every where in the world. I always new it, and trusted in the kindness of strangers… in the inherent good of the human being. But now that I travel with a child, it is even more obvious. There are so many good souls everywhere in the world. We are constantly struck by news of people who harm and maim and hurt. Of war and destruction. Of humans doing terrible things to each other, or to animals, or to the earth. We are taught to fear our neighbours and to avoid eye contact. We are taught to be afraid. But what is it we are so scared of? There are so, so many good people on this earth… and sometimes it takes the open heart and unbiased eyes of a toddler to remind you of that. Bo opens her arms and her heart to people and she reaches out and says hello and touches hands and smiles… and there hasn’t been a single soul who hasn’t responded with a smile.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
Traveling is something that I believe in with every part of my soul. I believe that travel changes you, fundamentally, it encourages you to be a better person, to see the world through new eyes, to embrace challenge and seek out joy, to explore new worlds and love new people… If I can teach any of that to Bo, I’ll be so happy. If I can help her to hang on to the beautiful open heart that she has today, to trust her instincts and see the world and it’s people as a beautiful place full of hope… then I’ll have done my job. 2PIN IT 3PIN IT 4PIN IT 5PIN IT 6PIN IT 7PIN IT 8PIN IT 9PIN IT Bo has been an amazing traveler. She embraces new places and new people with caution and an open heart. She approaches slowly, she watches, and then she reaches out and grabs a new experience and drinks it in with every part of her. It’s been amazing to watch… to watch her grow into herself. To be more of herself. To be more separate from me. It’s amazing.
There have been a few ups and downs, of course, but this week has been fabulous… let’s not talk about last weeks unbelievable meltdown on the subway which had me holding a screaming, kicking toddler whilst the stroller rolled down the aisle of the subway and far, far, away… while everyone watched (and eventually caught the stroller for me).
It’s Thanksgiving here this weekend. We don’t celebrate thanksgiving in Australia, so I’m not really sure how it all works or where it all comes from. But I do know that I have an awful lot to be thankful for, and I’m looking forward to sharing a day with my Canadian family, surrounded by laughter and dysfunction and love (and hopefully some pumpkin pie).
I hope you have a beautiful weekend… you know you deserve it.


Similar Posts:

  • October 12, 2013 - 8:35 am

    Eszter - Can I just say a rather silent thank you?!

    xoxo, EszterReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2013 - 9:10 am

    cath - Love the Mark Twain quote – Bo has a great trek ahead with a Mama like hers that introduced the idea of traveling at such a young age 🙂ReplyCancel

  • October 12, 2013 - 10:31 am

    Arna - love the photos.. and the Twain quote.. hope all continues to reward you xxReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2013 - 3:42 pm

    Michelle - Your photos of Bo are just adorable. Those big beautiful eyes would capture anyone!ReplyCancel

  • October 13, 2013 - 7:31 pm

    Peggy - What a beautiful recount of your travels. I love to read what you and Bo are up to.ReplyCancel

  • October 15, 2013 - 4:05 am

    Rebekka - Love the photos! Looks like you both have such a great time. Ronan kisses stranger and everyone else, on buses and trams too and chats or sings to them. For the couple of first times I thought I need to stop him but I just think its soo sweet that he likes to interact with everyone he meets.ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *