“It’s a world of laughter, a world or tears; it’s a world of hopes and a world of fears…”
You can already hear the song in your head now, can’t you? “It’s a Small World” has always been one of my favorite rides in Walt Disney World. But it’s more than just a fun ride or a catchy song: for us, “It’s a Small World” encompasses a number of important values that we want to teach our son as he grows up.
Here’s how we’re teaching baby “It’s a Small World” after all, with the help of Disney Baby’s “It’s a Small World” book collection!
“It’s a world of laughter, a world or tears; it’s a world of hopes and a world of fears.”
Have you ever stopped to realize just how profound the first lyric of “It’s a Small World” really is? As Judah grows up and as much as I want the world to be nothing but happiness for him, he’s going to have to learn about bumps and scrapes, about going to the dentist, about missing the bus. Just as there are giggles and grins there are disappointments, too: for me as his mom, I’m teaching Judah how to cope and deal with everything that life throws him in healthy, productive ways. It’s this balance of laughter and hopes with tears and fears that makes life truly interesting, beautiful and wondrous.
“There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware. It’s a small world after all.”
Just like I did, Judah will grow up in an extremely multicultural household: his dad is of European Jewish ancestry and his mom with both Irish and Japanese roots. But he also shares a unique connection to the woman who was his egg donor, and she shares a special connection in our lives, too. For us as his parents, Larry and I will teach Judah about the uniqueness of his identity, to be comfortable in his own skin and to celebrate his multicultural heritage.
“There is just one moon and one golden sun…”
If our space-themed nursery wasn’t a clue, our family is big into science and technology. When it comes to a family value, it’s broader than that: we love learning. Even before Judah was just a twinkle in my eye, it has always been important to me to teach my children a love of learning, exploration and appreciation of the world around them.
“And a smile means friendship to everyone.”
There are so many important values that I could teach Judah from this little lyric alone: to be polite, to be gracious, to be genuine. I know that it’s not possible to be all smiles and rainbows all the time, but I want to teach Judah the importance of living an authentic, kind life – that the idea of putting good out in the world takes so little effort.
“Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide, it’s a small world, after all!”
No matter when he goes to preschool or kindergarten, or even when he goes off to college or lives on his own: I want Judah to know that no matter what, we will always love him and be there for him. We’re his parents – it’s not only our job, it’s our privilege to carry that title with pride. He is always in our hearts wherever he is, so we can never be truly that far away from each other.
These might seem like mighty big concepts for such a little baby, but the truth is, we’ve already been introducing them as he’s begun to explore the world around him. We even use the “It’s a Small World” book collection to help talk about all of these things. While he may not understand everything we’re saying to him right now, it gets my husband and I in the habit of talking about these values with Judah from an early age.
What other values can you glean from “It’s a Small World” and how would you teach them to your children? Share your thoughts in the comments!