Miss Janice was our wonderful tour guide in Colonial Williamsburg. She was one tough cookie. Kids who idly scuffled pebbles while she spoke immediately froze in their tracks when she would shoot them a warning look. She asked a child a question and when he said, “What?” she looked at him incredulously and corrected him with a: “PARDON me?!” When a child mentioned the word “slaves” she said, “All people are born free, but they can become enslaved by unjust institutions and laws that permit that kind of thing to happen, so we call them enslaved people rather than slaves.” She talked about these enslaved people coming to the colonies “empty-handed,” but not “empty-headed.” At the conclusion of our tour, she lined us up and led us in a call and response work song, in her rich, beautiful voice. I would have taken pictures, but I was afraid she might rap me across the knuckles. Here are some other pictures from the day.
For some reason we’re finding it really hard to get motivated to put up the Christmas decorations this year. Just yesterday I remembered the beautiful quilted advent calendars my mother-in-law lovingly sewed for each of my children. Every year we hang the three calendars from the kitchen counter and I scramble to find something to fill three different pockets for the 24 days before Christmas. (72 things)! It’s already December 14th and I’m only now remembering the existence of those calendars. The Noah’s Ark advent calendar has also not yet been unearthed from the bowels of our basement. Neither has the Fisher Price creche set. Every year at church we make an advent wreath with five candles. At dinner time we would always light a candle for every week leading up to Christmas. The last candle is lit on Christmas day. We missed the actual wreath-making event this year, but got the supplies to do it at home ourselves. They’re still sitting, untouched, on our kitchen counter. Even our Christmas tree is only partly decorated.
As I drove my kids to school this morning, I tried to rouse them into action, (because Lord knows I’m a lost cause).
“Hey, guys! Why don’t you finish putting up the decorations on the tree when you get home from school today?”
My son answers, “Hanging decorations is not my thing. I don’t think it’s fun at all. I consider it to be a chore.”
Even though I heartily agree with him, I say, “Hey! Quit acting like an old man. You’re only ten years old, for Pete’s sake…Well, T, I guess you’re going to have to work a little harder to make up for us old fogeys.”
“What’s a fogey?” my son asks suspiciously.
“An old fogey is a crusty old fart,” I reply.
“Wait a minute. Did you just call me a fart?!”
“Ummm, no, actually. I called you a crusty. old. fart.”
This exchange sparks another intellectual line of inquiry.
“Do you think cavemen farted?” he asks.
“Do you think the colonists farted?”
“Well, do you think it was considered rude for colonists to fart?”
We will seek out the answers to these eternal questions tomorrow (today) as we embark upon the birthright of every child growing up in the great Commonwealth of Virginia. Yes, my friends: another month, another Colonial-themed field trip. This time I’ll be chaperoning my son’s 5th grade field trip to Colonial Williamsburg. I’ll report back our findings next week. Until then, hope your weekend is wonderful.