15 Apr Diversity, Houston, Dinosaurs & Elevators
Recently, I got to walk with Dinosaurs. No… really! Well, I didn’t walk WITH them, I sat in a seat between my 2 boys and some other guys walked around with the Dinosaurs… but I do have tickets stubs that say “Walking with Dinosaurs”. The show was awesome… I mean a life size T-Rex walked over and roared in our faces… how does it get any better??? Seriously??? I have 2 boys (4 & 6) who play “Don’t fall in the water (carpet) with the Sarcosuchus. (and yes I just Googled Giant Dino Crocodile to figure how the hell to spell that!) They know more about Dinosaurs than I do… but that could be because they changed all the dang names since I was a kid.
While on the way to the show I was reminded how much I like the diversity of our city. And I know difference is sometimes the catalyst for friction… I spent a good chunk of my childhood in East Dearborn, Michigan where we were seriously in the minority. Still, 2 weeks ago there was this crystal moment on the way to the show when I was shown, once again, that we are all human just the same.
On the elevator in the parking garage was gathered the most American Melting Pot group of Houstonians… we had what to my totally untrained ears sounded like a Russian Family, an African-American family, a young Hispanic gentleman and me and my kiddos who are just about as blond and as fair as they come. The elevator was all glass on one side – facing out into the street – and we were 6 stories up in the air – and this is where the fun began. There were 6 little ones, noses to the glass, clutching the railing for dear life. The elevator started it’s decent and you would have thought we were on the largest roller coaster Astroworld ever had to offer. They all let out this spontaneous gasp and then squeals of joy and fear. At first the adults weren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves… do I shush my kid who is only doing what is a truly natural response to the experience? I mean, they all did the same thing at the same time. The garage was full of people on the way to the show and we had to stop at each floor. By the 3rd decent… we were all in it! The kiddos squealed, the adults laughed, the elevator stopped… and rinse, lather, repeat… for 3 more floors. Even the guy who didn’t have any kids, who is in that young adult, I don’t think I want any of those rug-rats stage of his life (and his face gave all that away when he first got on the elevator with us) was won over in the end. And that’s it – the magic of children. Their laughter, their innocence, their fresh look at the world. The elevator ride was more important that the color of the skin on the nose leaving it’s mark on the window next to yours.
I was reminded of what in the beginning of this whole ifest journey (and I promise I’ll stop talking about it soon) really got me excited about the project – educating kids in Houston about other cultures. And now that the journey is coming to an end (ifest is this weekend) I love that I have been given a beautiful experience to come back around full-circle. So, hopefully I will see you this weekend.