A few weeks ago my trusty assistant–aka as my recently retired father–and I took the girls on the first field trip of this school year. For the past three years we’ve been working our way through Story of the World, a four-volume chronology of history from ancient to modern times. We have finally reached the 1600s, and it’s time to take advantage of living near much of the beginning of our country’s history.
Earlier this month we headed to Jamestown. Actually we skipped the original site of the fort and opted for the reconstructed settlement. While I’m sure the park rangers at the historic site are knowledgeable tour guides, my girls preferred the bare-chested Native American who wore a loin cloth and war paint; they were equally mesmerized by the raptor talon piercing his ear.
Since the girls are not avid colonial history buffs, my father and I found ourselves having to corral them regularly. There was a particularly amused older couple who insisted they wanted me to identify where we lived on a map of the Chesapeake’s tributaries after they watched H wander off without my noticing. The girls were also notably unimpressed with the reconstructed Powhatan Indian village; they declared that it looks exactly like the Woodland Indian village at Historic St. Mary’s City, which is just minutes from our home. (Sometimes they are rather astute little students, and I had to agree with their observations.)
To their credit, they did agree on two activities that they found enjoyable. I’ll let you see instead of tell you.
Sometimes it’s good to put down the history books and go visit the place that history happened. And at least our Jamestown visit saved me from having to have another conversation with G that went along the lines of this recent one:
G: Mom, I’ve never even heard of the Mayflower Compact before.
Me: I know you haven’t. There are a lot of things you don’t know yet.
G: Well, I’m just saying that if I haven’t heard about it, how can it really be as important as you say it is?
Actually I think I might need one of those iron helmets that the girls are modeling. Then I could legitimately reply, “Sorry. I didn’t hear the ignorance that escaped your mouth.”