Maddie and I have both been looking forward to this school year, this year we are discovering and exploring United States History. We have been excited to learn about successes, failures, successful relationships and failed relationships. We are excited to learn how different parts of the United States became founded, only to learn it had already been found and declared by the Native Americans.
While I am excited to learn about the United States history, which we have already discovered has lead us to learn about other countries and time periods at the same time. We are learning what is happening in two different parts of the world at the same time. We are learning what both sides where after and what took place because of these differences.
Today we just finished reading a book on Christopher Columbus and how he neither found America nor did he discover the Indies like he had intended. He did find some Islands, what became new lands to him, but as we discussed, since the Islands already had people on them, they were simply new to them. We have talked about what it must have been like for these “Indians” as Columbus called them to have people come in and invade their homes and gave them “new” ideas. We talked about the pros and cons of both.
As we dig further into history I am fervently praying how much to teach and share with Maddie and how much to leave out until she is older and can handle it emotionally and mentally. I want her to know that Jamestown became a colony, I want her to know they had to work hard and they had to work together. I want to share with her the things that they were successful at and the things they failed at and why. But, I’m not sure I am ready to explain to my seven year old what cannibalism is and why the colonist thought it was necessary.
What I’m really struggling with is while my kid’s know that life is unfair, that life causes tears, and that death happens. Thankfully my kid’s have been spared so much in their young lives. I still see in their eyes the desire to truly be a princess, not just a pretend one, but a real live princess. I can see in their desire that anything truly is possible. I see in them a drive, passion, and desire to accomplish great things. While Mark and I are working hard to mentor them in their passions and desires. I think the hardest part about parenting is watching my kid’s struggle, knowing I can hold them through their tears, I can love on them, but I can’t take the evilness out of the world, I can’t take death, and pain out of their lives. Only heaven can do that, only lying in Jesus’s safe arms can do that.
Naomi has been telling us that she has not been able to sleep well because she keeps thinking and the things my little four year old thinks are deep conversations. We have talked about death and she has asked questions about not only death in general, but about me dying and her dying. We have talked about fires and how awesome Grandma is and how we all love her. Naomi is my deep thinker and her ability to put two and two together is both humbling and awing. I am trying to keep dialogue going between her and I so that she doesn’t fill so many holes in her thinking with her own four year old reasoning.
I am excited to share the world with my kiddo’s, I am excited to experience life with my kiddo’s, but it already tugs on my heart thinking of the big pains that will happen, because life on earth is not mentally or emotionally safe. I often think of when my kiddo’s where learning how to crawl and walk and their faces when they first skinned their knees and how they seem dumb founded that they could experience so much pain. I think of this in terms of explaining the world around them and how important it is to teach them that when we do not understand, especially when we do not understand the evil around us, when we do not understand what is going on in our lives, it is then that it is even more important to cling to the truth that God is God and we are not. Trusting that God has had our good in mind all along, remembering all the times God has provided, protected, and interceded, and choosing to trust the steadfastness of the Lord.
I am also so grateful that I get to walk this road of life with my kiddo’s and that I can dance with them through their successes and hold them through their failures. Allowing the successes and failures of history to teach us that we are responsible for our actions. We are responsible for the choices we make, we are responsible to either get better or bitter, to build up or build down, that we can decide how we will respond to what is going on around us. Teaching my kiddo’s that what they do, how they react, really does matter. But, too, when we blow it, when we mess up, when we fail, they are always welcomed back into the Father’s arms. Their is no mess up so huge, so big, so nasty, that God will not accept us back. It’s mind blowing thinking of all the awful stuff that has happened in history and thinking that God could forgive them for the autocracies. Part of me wishes nothing but hell for them, but then I also think, I deserve the same fate and God has spared me. So, I trust him with even saving the souls of the most wickedest of men or so they appear to me.
So, history, how much to share, how much to tell, and trusting the Lord for the timing of each history nugget shared with my kiddo’s. It’s not just teaching history, it’s opening the eyes of my kiddo’s to so much more than Columbus, Pilgrim’s, and Native Americans, it’s teaching them about the kind of person they want to be. Who knew so much could come from a year of United States History!