We've set upon a whole year of intentional spiritual development. A big part of that is helping our daughter realize she plays a small part in a great big world. I want her to know about different church traditions, different cultures, different ethnic foods. Introducing her to these things at a young age will hopefully ensure a healthy curiosity rather than trepidation as she enters adulthood. This can be a challenge for our family as she attends a smaller public school in a rural community.
I remember when our daughter was three or four and we feasted on a batch of crab legs one evening because they had been on sale. She sat at her grandparent's dining room table, butter dripping down her chin, stuffing her mouth with crab meat as fast as her dad could crack the legs open. My father-in-law let out a chuckle and said,
You're ruining her for future boyfriends. Her palate will be so refined, he won't be able to afford taking her out to eat.
We're fortunate to have many friends who grew up in other cultures. She's a big fan of chicken tikka with multiple slices of paratha bread and our favorite is when we get a chance to eat it with our friends from India. They have taught us much about the spices and local delicacies of their tropical home. Our Nigerian friend hasn't given us the family recipe for chicken stew but our daughter gobbles it right up when he prepares it. What ingredient gives the dish its bright red tint?
A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to see Hamilton. If you're not familiar with it, here's a synopsis. I had her read about the storyline ahead of time and, just from listening to the songs as we drove around in the car, she had them down in no time. A word of caution, once those catchy tunes enter your mind, good luck getting them out. It was a terrific performance and I appreciated seeing a stage full of diversity, reminding me that our country has always been a melting pot. There's a lot we can learn from one another.
Talk less, smile more.
Finally, many of the messages this year will be emphasized with a book. It's been a thrill for me to look for books that can accompany us on this journey into spiritual adulthood. Not that we're there yet but we're intentionally stepping into it. Here's the book selection for this month, celebrating cultural diversity: Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga. Our daughter likes the lyrical style of books and I may have already read this one before I gifted it.