Learning is Local

We were on our way downtown Thursday to the Farmer's Market. All morning Comfort had been talking about going to get our salad and carrots - apparently they are not the same thing!! We had a series of errands to run and I took the interstate downtown, which is unusual for me since I prefer to travel through the city. We came out at the intersection by the Slavery Reconciliation Statue. While stopped at the traffic light Comfort piped up from the backseat, "People hug to say they are sorry." I saw her looking at the statue and was amazed at the profundity of her remark.

I asked DH about it today. It turns out she'd asked about it a couple of weeks ago when they were stopped at the same light and that was the phrase he'd used to explain it to her. It's a perfect understanding for her at the age of 3 and in future years there will be plenty of time for us to teach her about the history of slavery, our city's participation in it and the issues that our city, country and world still grapple with daily.

It's also a good reminder that when our children ask us questions we need to remember to meet them on their terms and on their level. If they ask how the car works you don't need to describe how the engine works unless they are actual able to understand this. I speak from experience here. Opportunities for learning are all around us even in those innocent [and sometimes annoying] questions that pipe up from the backseat.


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