We picked up a free map of Colorado from our hotel lobby and ventured out.
Denver has a rather confusing set of freeways. The thing about freeways is, you can't slow way down and ponder the signs littering the sky just above the road. You have no time to wonder if that small arrow is one you should follow or if that would simply lead you to another freeway. The other thing about freeways is that you can't do a U-turn to correct an error. You have to stick with your bad decision for what sometimes turns out to be a considerable amount of time.
Now, at the kitchen table, he has no trouble reading and understanding a map, but map reading is a whole different story when you are sitting in the front seat of a fast-moving vehicle with your mother calling out road names and highway numbers and demanding to know whether she should turn right or left and after you tell her the direction she tells you that your plan has a one-way street that is going the wrong one-way and that that means you have to alter your plan because one-way streets aren't labeled on your map. And there are a lot of cars. By the end of our weekend, he was getting very good. New skill learned.
Driving downtown was a lot of fun. He had never seen buildings this tall in real life.
"Oh, Mom! A yellow taxi!"
At one point in my journey regarding our son's ballet talent, I realized that all of the good ballet companies are in big cities. I've never wanted to live in a big city with it's crime and traffic and prices and polluted air. For my children, I've always wanted wide open spaces, green fields, and tall trees. When I realized that my son would probably live most of his adult life in a big city, I literally broke down and cried. (It should be noted here that it was late at night and my thinking was getting more and more fuzzy.) In a heartfelt prayer, I explained to Heavenly Father that big cities are horrible places and I never wanted to send my child there. Do you know what I heard, in that patient, loving voice that always answers my pleas?
"Emily. A lot of people live in cities."
I was struck dumb. My tears dried in an instant as the realization dawned. Um, yes. A lot of people DO live in cities. They are happy there. There are wonderful things about big cities. There are many good and kind and gentle people in cities.
I shook my head and laughed at myself. Then, I went to bed, because that was the second thing that the patient, loving voice said.
Do you know what we found among the towering, shining office buildings?
Churches. Many, many churches.
Thank you for hosting us, Denver. We had a fabulous time on your concrete and within your glass and steel.