Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Difficult Conversations about History

Being an Historian is interesting at times. I know many of the truths about our collective history but continue to go along with the popular myths we have created about it all:

White people came and settled America. White people good. . .Indians bad. . .

George Washington was a hero who created our country and then passed it on to us. . .George Washington good. . .English bad. . . (Yes, George was amazing, but he was not alone and he was human).

The North won. . .the South bad. . .

You get my drift.

I had wanted to be as truthful as I could be with Aidan about history. But, I may rethink that. . .

This is the Court House in downtown Leesburg:



Yes, that is a Civil War soldier. . .actually, a Confederate Soldier. Leesburg was a Very Southern Town during "The War." In fact, the President of the Virginia Seccessionist Committee was a lawyer from Leesburg, John Janney.

Anyway, we live about 1/4 mile, or maybe a little more, from this statue--straight up the road. We pass this twice a day: on the way to day care and then on the way home. And twice a day we have the following conversation:

Aidan: That guy has a gun in his hands.
Mommy: Yes, he does. He's a soldier.
Aidan: What is he going to shoot?
Mommy: Well, he's going off to war. (trying not to say he's going to shoot people!)
Aidan: Is the other guy a bad man?
Mommy: The other guy?
Aidan: Yea, the one this guy is going after.
Mommy: (My ruse didn't work) Well, no, the other guy isn't a bad man.
Aidan: Is this guy a bad man?
Mommy: Well, no, this guy isn't a bad man either.
Aidan: Why, Mommy? Why is he just standing there with a gun in his hands if he's not going after the bad man?
Mommy: Look, Aidan! There's geese at the park today!!
Aidan: What do the geese say??? Honk! Honk!
Mommy: wipes sweat from her brow and sees our house. . .Look Daddy's home!!!

And, thus ends my first really hard conversation. . .but it repeats every day. . .Maybe I should find a different way to come home. . .

1 comment:

Troy and Rachel said...

Yeah - these kids know entirely too much! BUT at least you can still distract him!! I'm thankful we're still in that stage with Daniel!

We talk about shooting deer and Daniel said to me the other day "We don't shoot people, only deer". Well that's right but gees did you have to think of that to begin with!!