Monday, August 10, 2009

The Lessons That Parents Teach

Parents are the ultimate teachers in life. When I was younger, my parents would take my sister and I on road trips. Obviously, my parents were crazy. (Just kidding....kind of....) My mom has always been a huge fan of old Southern plantation homes. As a result, most of our destinations had some sort of historical value to them. For instance, I've been to pretty much every plantation home in Natchez, Mississippi. I have also been to a fair number of Civil War battlefields. Once, they ventured so far away from home that we got to see Jefferson's Monticello. Anyhoo, you get my point. Vacations in my family were spent exploring historical locales. As a result of this, I learned to appreciate history and even enjoy visiting the places where history was made. (Doesn't mean that I didn't envy those kids who got to spend their vacay getting sunburned or breaking their legs on the ski slopes...)

Now that I have kids of my own, I love watching them learn new things. I love that they enjoy learning. Learning can be fun and kids sometimes don't even realize they are doing it. I have always wanted to take my kiddos to historical places and allow them to experience that chill that runs through you when you realize you are standing in the same place that history was made. The boys have both been to the USS Arizona Memorial (numerous times) and several other great places. (I love that the Army gives us such opportunities!) This weekend we took them out to Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace. It was pretty cool. We took a picnic lunch, then did a little tour around the area. The boys' favorite part was that they got to become Jr. Park Rangers...

Here they are with their "training manuals"

They also enjoyed seeing the spring where Lincoln probably took his first drink of water...

As we walked through the area, looking at the spring and the cabin in which Lincoln was born, Kacey cried because she was tired. It hit me while we were comforting her, that 200 years ago, in that same valley another mother was comforting her own baby. That baby grew into the man who held our nation together. It was a wonderful visit. And I thank my crazy parents for giving me a love for all places historic.

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