Visiting my parents in Florida, I fall into an uncomplicated morning routine of sipping coffee on the patio with my mother and venturing into the surf for walks with my father. My daughter laughs with her grandparents, makes up games in the pool and enjoys the unplanned adventures we happen upon. Does life get any better than this? But, I struggle to reconcile how easy it was for us to arrive here. We got in our car and appeared on the Gulf of Mexico after driving for 20 hours. Listening to the constant rhythmic roll of the waves breaking over the sand, I’m feeling uncomfortably lucky.
I feel uncomfortable with the ease at which this happened. I recognize that much of our world cannot travel with such geographical and financial freedom. I endeavour not to take it for granted. I suppose I’m deliberately keeping my privilege on the forefront of my mind. It is an interesting experience talking to your pre-teen about privilege. We have Global Entry into the United States of America, so her life experience of crossing this international boarder involves no visas, no lines and not even talking to boarder officials. How do you effectively explain that this isn’t normal for 99% of the world when it is her normal?
On my daily walks on the beach I see educational opportunities and seize them to talk about tides, the fragility of sand dune habitats and animals like the Portuguese Man of War or the pelicans diving into the surf. But again, how to explain that what we’re seeing, experiencing and about to experience are part of our privilege? I don’t know? Having the conversation is a start, albeit a vague one. I feel like I’m somewhat rambling and not very succinct in communicating my thoughts today. I’ll leave it at that for now and try to tease out what I want to say to my daughter as I watch the sandpipers dance across the sand.