Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Teaching My Daughters

How do you teach your children to be Americans. Well, tonight was a big teaching night for me. I can't say which was most important, helping my younger daugher learn to ride a bike or watching "Gettysburg: Three Days of Battle." Tess just turned eight last Friday, but still hasn't learned how to ride a two-wheeler. In general, Tess has been reluctant to grow up from her glory days as a kindergartener. But now, she had a friend visiting from West Virginia on Friday and Tess knew that her friend would know how to ride a twowheeler. So this was it. Tess must take this next step on the road to womanhood or she would be shamed before her friend Rysa. And I can report some success. Tess was able to keep the bike going for two or three turns of the wheels by the time we got home. Another signpost on the way to adulthood. But education doesn't stop. Now I'm watching the Gettysburg movie with my older daughter Katy. Most of Katy's education in American nationalism has come from learning about the Union side of the Civil War. The United States that I want her to be a part of is the triumph over the Confederacy and the overcoming of slavery and racism. Gettysburg is one of the key moments in the history of this America and we've spent a lot of time going to Gettysburg, watching Gettysburg movies, and reading Gettysburg books. Time to go. The brave Union troops are getting ready to turn back Pickett's charge again.


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