My parental philosophy is to try and expose my kids to as much as I possibly can. I am not very interested in handing down my personal traditions or religious beliefs (or, disbeliefs), political opinions, etc to my kids. I want them to get a view of a cross section of different living styles, personal beliefs, religions, ethnic traditions and beliefs. I want them to know there are 2 sides to every coin and 2 sides to every intelligent debate. There are rich people and poor people in America. There are the haves and the have nots. I want them to live among and be able to relate to both. I want this diversity to be experienced in their schools and their neighborhood and their city in general. I want them to grow up having lived in and grown up in a place that has place...and purpose and is vibrant and welcomes people of all kinds. I want them to be exposed, not shut off and sheltered from the realities, both good and bad that middle America offers.
I want them to know that living in the city does not mean a compromise of all things rural. We live in a big city and get all the benefits of the big city: arts, diversity, sports, music, food, density, history. We also have a myriad of community gardens for raising fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables, a myriad of trails for walking/biking and we are an hours drive from the spoils of agriculture, small town America (see Millstadt, IL and Washington, MO), and vast forests.
St. Louis is a great place to raise a family.