Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Remembering Squanto!

It's funny but when you have kids that spread from young adults down to 1st graders, you forget what you taught the older ones and just assume the younger ones "get it" by association. It's funny how you work so hard to teach the first child names and places and dates and concepts and events and by the youngest you just are ready to just love them...

On Monday, when I asked my youngest what Thanksgiving was all about, all she could tell me was "turkey". I felt like Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle where he questions his son Noah on where Baltimore is located - pulls down the map of the USA in disgust and states "I don't want to even think about the things they're NOT teaching you in school!". She couldn't tell me anything... No pilgrims arrival on the Mayflower. No Squanto and Massasoit. No and native Americans working together for survival, planting crops and hunting, and then celebrating their bounty in harmony together on those shores of New England. No Plymouth Rock... Nothing!

So, Family Home Evening became Dad telling the tribe about "The First Thanksgiving" with the help of a great picture book that reminded me of a few details even I had forgotten about, particularly the part about Squanto, the English-speaking Native American.

In our immediate family, we have the tradition (I don't know when it started) of decorating a glass quart canning jar with "I am thankful for..." written on it, with a fall-festive fabric lid. The jar is left on the kitchen counter and during the week before Thanksgiving, family members can write down (anonymously) things that they are thankful for. Then, at Thanksgiving dinner, the jar is opened and is passed around and the slips of paper are read outloud. Typically they center around home, family and friends, testimonies and blessings, but sometimes they get more creative, especially from my youngest daughter who is six... who is thankful for, among other things: the earth that grows pretty flowers, the color "pink", Christmas lights, and baby bunnies!

I was going to make of list of those things I will be putting in the jar and noting them here on this post, but I think my daughter's list is sufficient...

Happy Thanksgiving!


Loyalist (with defects) said...

I am glad to see that you are just as devoted to history as I am. My kids get a history lesson everytime they ask about Thanksgiving, Columbas Day, July 4th, or any other topic I think they need in their growing brains.

I've already started them on remembering the names of all 47 presidents. And to pinpoint geographical locations on the map.

Beck said...

We have a 42" x 66" laminated map of the USA in the kitchen and I'm drilling them on states and capitals at dinnertime! Haven't done the 47 presidents yet, but it doesn't mean I can't start!

Samantha said...

I'm passing judgment on everyone's Thanksgiving lists--which means I'm just enjoying reading them. Tell your daughter thank you. Everyone should be grateful for those things. I know I am.

Happy Day After Thanksgiving!