One of my little interests has been urban planning and theories on how to create better communities. For children, family, pedestrians, everyone… I really became interested in the ideas of New Urbanism after reading Richard Louv’s book The Nature Principle and Last Child in the Woods. And slowly I’ve found groups in my community that are doing some great work towards this vision. 

CicloSDias has been organizing some events centered around car-free streets through the area. The main CicoSDias event isn’t until August 11, but they’ve been having these CicoSDias Minis leading up to it. One is on Saturday and I’m hoping to head down there and spend some time enjoying a car-free space and community.

I don’t know if there will really ever be a time when we aren’t a car dependent society, but just being able to reduce our dependency even a little and increase our community focus is a great step. 

So I wrote this little piece for the July Carnival of Natural Parenting, but slipped up because it was supposed to be posted before 9 a.m. today. I thought I’d post it anyways, since I spent the time writing it. You should really check out there website if you are interested in reading other articles from natural parenting families or are interested in participating yourself.

Every Sunday, our family ventures down to Balboa Park; a big tourist spot but also many locals favorite park for jogging and hanging out on the weekends.

In a little spot called the International House Cottages, you can find a community of little houses surrounding an open lawn area. Each little house represent a country. Inside there are pictures, maps, and mementos of each country, its people, and cultural history. It’s like travelling the world without ever leaving the neighborhood. On Sundays the lawn program is hosted by a different house throughout the year. The houses are run by volunteers who have a passion for sharing the beauty of their culture with others. We love spending Sunday mornings tasting different foods and hear music we’ve never heard before. 

Introducing our daughter to diversity from a young age is so important to us because we want it to be something she is comfortable with. We want her to enjoy spending time with people of different cultures, religions, and lifestyles and not something rare and “different”. As she grows up, we hope to teach her how important it is to be accepting of everyone, but the greatest lesson with be her experience.

As ideal as it would be to travel the world, we don’t all have that chance. Nor do we need it in order to celebrate other cultures and to learn about and appreciate their traditions.