Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Amazing Race

Let me tell you about a small passion this family has. It's a weird one, and totally nerdy, but it's us. You see, we love the show The Amazing Race. We use to watch it regularly while we were in America and we were always amazed at the things people on the show were able to see and truly experience. It's always interesting to see how teammates either bond really deeply, or are eating each other for breakfast. There's hardly ever an in between. It's also interesting to see how Phil, the host, becomes a bit attached to certain contestants. While I'm sure he's not allowed to show partiality, he's human, and on occasion you can tell how he's become attached to a contestant.

The truth is, we, as a family, also become attached. We cheer a particular team on and some of us can be seen hiding behind our fingers, pillows, or blankets as we sit on the edge of our seats and watch people dash through downtown HongKong, the deserts of Egypt, and the outskirts of other third world countries. Teams are always so quickly humbled by the poverty stricken people they see as they are able to take off work and school to race around the world for a million dollars.

Now that the boys are older it's the one show we watch in "real time". Which means we don't often record it to watch later (except when it's a double episode.) It's one of those special nights when the kids are permitted to stay up just a wee bit later then normal. They sit and marvel at the wonders of the world. They gape at the things they've learned about and are now viewing through the lens of a camera. There's cheers of excitement at how they KNOW that place and how they wonder what it must be like to REALLY be there. Pleas of "Can we go there too?" or "Can we sign up to be in the Amazing Race, it looks like so much fun!"

However, I've noticed something else too. My boys are quick to point out how someone is rude simply by the look on their face when they sneer at a team mate. The disgust in the boys voices when they hear someone speak and scream at a taxi cab driver simply because they don't understand the language. Morgan is especially turned off by these aspects and was quite mortified to see that two sweetly tempered young ladies became vicious when a mere accident led them to believe someone was "out to get them." It suddenly took the boys from cheering this team on as the "nice girls" to "I hope they don't win, because they aren't playing very nice and it wouldn't be good if mean people won."

Don't get me wrong, my boys are known to be excessively pushy, speak rudely, and threaten each other all over a race to get the first chocolate chip cookie. In fact, when their cousin was visiting and she witnessed that she was lost somewhere in giggles and shock, all though the shock might have been because I gave her the first cookie since she was the only one acting like civilised! It's nice though, to know, that the boys can see good and bad for what it is and not be drawn to someone because of how quick they run or how soon they finish a race.

Last night was the end of yet another race around the world. One that took them through something like 5 continents and 9 countries. We were in awe to see the various places in Russia we'd learned about and only viewed from books. We sat opened mouth watching the cormorants dive for fish and bring them back to their masters. (And while they no longer have tight metal rings around their necks, they do most certainly have wire-ties around those necks!) We saw the rising of the flag in China (a country dear to my boys hearts), and we also saw some amazing relationships unfold between father and son, mother and son, and brother and sister. You know, the kind of relationships that give you warm fuzzies and make you so grateful for the family you have despite the hiccups and bumps that you see all the time.

While the team we most hoped would win (Sorry Luke and Margie, we were with you all the way! I was so with you wanting to see a deaf participant win!) we really enjoyed watching this show. It's one of the few where you rarely encounter profanity (all though there was a bit), and oddly enough we turned yet one more moment into a learning experience. Or maybe, as odd as it sounds, it was more of a review moment; where the boys could sit back in awe and remember all they've learned.

So this morning when we all sat around the table sullen because it didn't end how we hoped there was only one question on Morgan's mind, "Can I do the Amazing Race Mom?" You know something, I sat there and thought about what an amazing homeschool journey that would be! The stories we'd come home with, the experiences we'd have, all of it! "Yeah Morgan, you can do the Amazing Race, but you have to take one of us with you. Can it be me, pretty please?"


SC said...

we love this show, too. I do worry about how rude people tend to be with each other and make a point to talk about it. I don't think a million dollars is worth some of the rotten things these people do to each other. But I do like watching all the places they go to.
The new season starts here soon, we are so excited.

Spesamor Academy said...

We love watching this show, too. The geography and the adventure is what draws us. I'm looking forward to watching it this year since we have done some in-depth geography studies in school.