1940s America – The Start of Small Town Decline?

imageAll across the country, small towns are suffering. Once the heart of the American experience, these places have been losing their populations to larger urban and metropolitan centers for the past several decades. I never consciously chose to be a part of this great migration, but as it turns out I find myself as a case-in-point. I grew up in a small town in Connecticut and I did well in school which meant opportunities to go away to college. Specialized degrees led to specialized jobs located in larger metropolitan areas, until following the natural path of this economy landed me in Austin, Texas, one of the fastest growing cities in the nation and a leading beneficiary of the small town-to-big-city movement. Continue reading

A Place for the Child Explorer

Montessori BedThis week my wife and I disassembled our six-month-old’s crib in favor of a Montessori bed, which is basically a mattress on the floor in the corner of the room next to a mirror. The idea seems strange at first, but as our son becomes more mobile he will be able to wake up, explore his room and play with his toys, discovering his own independence as he is able to do all of these things without our help. That’s an independence we want to continue to develop as he gets older. It may be just his room that he is exploring now, but there’s a whole world out there and we want him to discover it for himself. But in a society where you’re more likely to get the cops called on you than win parent of the year by letting your child roam, is this dream of ours possible? Continue reading