There's no "i" in Team but there are two in Miami, plus the word "my", in Spanish - times two It's fitting. Human value in this city isn't earned by what you have done to better the world, it's about what you drive, how big it is, how many DVDs you can play at one time, if your luggage is Louis Vuitton, and
how much you're scamming from Medicare if you found the perfect sunglasses to match your washboard abs.
The fact that a newly released report found Miami to be the least civically engaged city in the country compared to Minneapolis-St. Paul, doesn't surprise me.
Heck, I don't do anything.
I spend my free time working, being with my kid, and envying people with a geater good. Others spend it getting their hair blown out and their nails painted the perfect shade of nearly nude Essie pink, but it's all the same.
I recently had a chance to spend a week with family outside the Detroit area and I was so jealous. Not of Detroit. The SuperBowl commercial made the city look like a paradise compared to the depressed reality. But like the Whos in Whoville after the Grinch stole Christmas, there was a plethora of community pride in the community we were in.
People knew each other. You could ask someone to watch your child/ren without feeling a need to install a nanny cam and run a background check. A neighbor would come by and deliver a homemade pie. At the local play area, moms sat with moms in big groups. They were all dressed badly but comfortably. Kids -many, many within walking distance, stopped by the house to play or eat cookies. Does anyone else want this?
I 've lived in Miami for over three years now and I can't say I know my neighbors. I've never seen them. For all I know I am living in a nicely maintained abandoned neighborhood. This could be a SuperFund site in Florida and I'd never know it.
I grew up in a Miami Beach that was more of a neighborhood. Much fewer people lived here and there was a South Beach. Nightlife was Denny's. Lincoln Road had a Stride Right shoe store and tumbleweed blowing down the empty sidewalks. But at that one store, you'd run into everyone you knew. I lived in a building with kids on every floor and a big pool area downstairs where everyone would meet. We all walked to the same elementary school and our moms were all friends. There were Scrabble games and Tupperware parties. We all knew the same restaurants and went to the same movie theatres on the same Saturday nights.
Now everything feels so transient. Even the people who "live here" live out of town.
But, I want my child to understand community. I want her to know that sense of belonging to something bigger. I want her to have the right values and know what's truly important. I need to be honest with myself, if I want this to happen, I need to start small. I need to start here at home.
Moms, what are you doing to help your kids with the idea of feeling connected to a community?