If you are a parent, perhaps you have taken a few minutes to sit down and write down things you hope for your children. Almost 4 and a half years into my daughters life (and 21 months into my sons), I'm just getting to this one. Here's what I wish specifically for my daughter:
- To be outstandingly intelligent by working hard, having a curious mind, and a love of learning. Keep an inquisitive mind.
- Be confident, self-assured, and assert herself.
- Know that her parents will always be here for her, no matter what she does.
- Live in a world of peace -- without the threat of Al Qaeda, worry of a bombing while she is at work in a tower, or while traveling the world.
- To see the world. Develop a desire to experience different cultures, understand different religions, appreciate food and music from everywhere.
- Respect the wisdom of older generations. Listen and learn from them.
- Live in a United States with equality for all. Fight for those who are discriminated against, show that love conquers all. Treat everyone -- black, white, rich, poor, gay, straight, Jewish or Catholic -- with respect.
It all sounds so idealistic, too lofty, even pompous. Could all of my dreams for my daughter really happen? Am I hoping for too much? One of the reasons I love children's literature so very much is that I truly believe we are building a foundation -- a passion and curiosity for learning, a bonding activity, an introduction and education to the world, cultures, and subject matters.
We read "Show Way" upon Miss Bonnie's recommendation on Friday at The Storybook Shoppe. This story is one about slavery, segregation, Civil Rights, and one families journey through it all told through quilting.
Slavery is a topic I haven't discussed with Molly before, though she knew who Martin Luther King, Jr. was from school.
We talked about what it would be liked to be "owned" and what it means to be "free." I am quite sure she did not understand the concept at all -- I am not sure anyone can translate it easily to a 4 year old and Miss Bonnie recommends it for students ages 7 - 12. Molly understood that I thought it was a sad topic and something I didn't approve of, but that it had an uplifting message. But did she understand there's still inequality? It's not yet a happy ending because there's still work to be done.
If this is a subject matter you are interested in exploring with your children, I recommend it, too! It's beautifully illustrated and tells a fabulous tale about the power of family. You can buy it here, on our blog, without leaving your computer. Check out below using PayPal and it will be shipped to your door within days.
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