Saturday, October 27, 2007

Across Time

My very wise teacher friend informed me this morning that titles aren't supposed to come first - that the best titles come once one has finished the work. So, no more sitting waiting on a title for this blogger!

Lots has happened in the 3 weeks since I last posted, and I'll not spell out my daily doings for everyone since we all have full plates. Just weekend trips, day trips, school, parties, etc. We were rear-ended at a stop sign on the way to the State Fair, but thankfully no one was injured and we have a rental while the van is being repaired. So when you don't see a post, no worries!

My thoughts for the moment are spurred by Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution by Natalie S. Bober. It is Super Jirafa's biography reading this term, and I am reading it as well. I am truly fascinated. Many times among my homeschool mama friends someone has lammented, "Oh, to have been homeschooled...", and one of the primary reasons is this: I am learning SO much that I missed in school. The history that I once found monotonous, has come to life for me (and my children), and I can't get enough of it!

Reading Abigail Adams' letters written just over 200 years ago, at close to the same age that I am now, really brings tears to my eyes. She was a young wife and mother, schooling her children at home while her husband was away. And she stood with her 7 year old son (the future President John Quincy Adams) overlooking what remained of Charlestown during the Battle at Bunker Hill. I read the news and see scenes from Iraq on CNN. She had it in her backyard. A couple of nights ago I got to talk to one of my childhood friends, and both of our sons talk about joining the military one day. How proud, yet how anxious that makes us!

The part of the book that struck me today is on page 60 (for those of you with kiddos in AO year 4). "As she (Abigail) committed her thoughts to paper, she gained a clearer understanding of her own role as a wife and mother." Wow! That's me on my blog (or in my journal, which hasn't made it's way here quite so much)! I have to add, however, that it is more in the sitting at the feet of others that I learn and grow the most. The point of this revelation is that we are not so different than those who came before us. We can learn so much from them. I look at Abigail and how she pressed forward, remembering the prize set before her, and it encourages me onward as well. Imagine that she wanted John to burn her letters, but he saved them "that they may exhibit to our posterity a kind of picture of the manners, opinions, and principles of these times of perplexity, danger, and distress." Indeed.

My final thought on this topic for today is a similar revelation concerning children. My CM book club recently discussed our children's constant question of, "Is he a good guy or a bad guy?" as we read through our history books. And there is a quote in this biography from Abigail's son Charles, who at age 5 asked his mother, "Mar, who is for us and who against us?". And it struck me again how very much we are like those who came before us, even the children. Across time, that's what they really want to know - who are the good guys and who are the bad guys.

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