Technically, my children are city kids. They were born in a large town and raised there until six years ago. There were malls and shops; everything super-sized and within minutes of our front door. They grew up with the sound of cars upon asphalt, lawn mowers on every corner, and neighborhood chatter across fence lines.
FFA - Future Farmers of America - was as foreign to them as the man in the moon. Classes in the city weren't geared towards entomology or creeds, swine and cattle. And when we moved to this rural community, it was the last thing they planned to be involved in. Though I had lived on a farm as a child and saw its benefits, I didn't push it.
When my daughter entered high school, she signed up for her first class in agriculture. I was shocked, to say the least, but encouraged that she would step out of her comfort zone and enter a new box with different sizes and shapes than what she was used to. She found that she did well on her tests and became enchanted with her Vo-Ag instructor and his clever ways of drawing what was outside, in. Two years later, her younger brother followed her footsteps. He'd watched as she raised, showed then sold two sheep last summer and decided he too, would put his feet into country soil.
He has excelled as well, winning the creed speaking contest in the freshman Greenhand division and scoring high on his tests. He is on the fence whether or not to have livestock in the future, but his mind has been opened and his city life-style, altered.
Though we now live in the country where trucks and tractors travel upon gravel and neighbors are few and far between, the world has suddenly become larger with new things to see, learn and do. Because they've experienced two different worlds, their lives are enriched. And as they've learned the importance of diversity, their choices are many.
The roads are now open. How fortunate they know the directions for each.