Monday, May 12, 2008

Gifts from the South

Yesterday, Ms. Kathy( our next neighbor/adopted Grandma) returned from a week long trip down south. She visited Georgia and the Carolina's and brought back adorable hats from the civil war era for my kids. Soldier hats for the boys and white hats for the girls- I don't know what they're called. They are the type I picture Betsy Ross wearing as she sewed the flag. They are cute.

My girls immediately ran in the house and put on skirts and used towels as shawls and started role playing. They were pretending to be Addie, an American Girl doll that we have and also have the book of. Addie and her family were slaves. It was very interesting to watch them play for practically hours. I was standing with some neighbors watching them and at one point, Zeke (who was pretending to be Sam, Addie's brother), was standing up against a tree and the girls were pretending to whip him on the back. This happens in the book when Sam tries to escape. I can't tell you how odd this was to watch. I couldn't decide if this was OK for them to be role playing, or not. They were after all, acting out a part of a historical book, which they know was a tragic event. It was very weird. We talked about it later and ended up having a good discussion.

Two Halloweens ago, I had been given a box of old costumes from a neighbor. It had some of the old fashioned clothes in it, that looked like they were used on Little House on the Prairie. When Akila was going to a friends for an overnight and they were going to go to a Halloween event somewhere in the community, we were trying to find a costume out of the box. Akila picked the prairie hat and long skirt outfit. It looked cute on her, until I realized that she looked like a slave girl. Probably not the most appropriate costume. I had her change, she became an M & M.

Akila is very intrigued by slavery and in particular, the cruel treatment that the slaves received. She likes to read over and over the parts in a story where there was a whipping or something like that. Similarly, she has always been incredibly obsessed with the Crucifixion of Jesus. In all of our bible stories and books, she always skips ahead to the pictures of Jesus on the cross and wants to read that story. She is a very sensitive child, in such a unique way. When I pray with her at night, I use to sometimes say something like, "Jesus, we want to thank you for dying on the cross to save us from our sins," or would refer to his sacrifice on the cross in some other way. It freaks her out. She crys after the prayer and asks me not to mention the cross as she can't sleep then.

Right around Easter time, a local church did a live reenactment of the Crucifixion, and there was a somewhat graphic picture of it in the paper. The paper was in our bedroom and she completely melted down and would not enter our bedroom and was in a crying rage. I couldn't figure out why, she kept pointing at the newspaper. I finally saw the picture. I had to remove the paper and it took a long time for her to settle down. She wanted it disposed of and I told her I would take care of it. I put it in the recycling bag in the dining room. Sure enough, some day the next week, it was taken out to be used under an art project or something, and she went into hysterics again.

When one of the other kids is hurt or crying, she can't stand it- that is unless she was the cause of their pain or tears. Then she could care less. But if they get hurt on their bike, or are crying because we won't give them something, she turns into the mother hen. She can't stand it when they cry (again, if she was not the cause of their tears, which she is the majority of the time). I do really appreciate this gift of care-giving that the Lord has given her. It is why she is so good with little kids.

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