We spent three days in New York City. It’s amazing to me that we lived there for ten years, because I experience huge sensory overload when I’m there. I’m not sure why. I’m not sure if I was always that way or being at the World Trade Center on 9/11 made me that way. I think I’ve always been that way.
And I think my older son has sensory overload as well. He spent most of the trip playing with Legos underneath a slide in a playground in Tribeca. And when he came out voluntarily, it was usually for an animal.
The highlight of the trip for him was staying at my brother’s apartment, because he has a Labradoodle. My son’s second-favorite part of the trip was feeding the goats in the Central Park Zoo. No joke. You should have seen my husband, the Farmer, doling out quarters so my son could pay to feed goats even though his job on the farm is to feed goats every morning. My husband said, “Maybe I should charge you quarters for doing your chores at home and then I wouldn’t have to nag you.”
My takeaway from this trip is that kids know how to find where they belong. If you give kids the chance. Even in New York City, my son sought out the quiet places and the animals.
I had worked with a career coach once who asked me to think of my favorite time in my childhood. And it was clear to me that doing that exercise allowed me to focus in on what I should be doing as an adult. We all know what we should be doing—we know it even as children. But if we don’t practice acting on that knowledge then, as adults, we are scared to direct ourselves and we feel lost in the workworld where we have to make career decisions for ourselves.