Monday, September 3, 2007

pirate fun

we recently returned from our family vacation to williamsburg, virginia. we made some stops on the way down- sesame place (again!) and philadelphia. we ended up vacationing in williamsburg accidentally; our timeshare exchange availability was very limited, so we ended up in virginia in august which sounds hot and it was, but it was very bearable and we got to swim a lot. and, everyplace was pleasantly uncrowded because southern states have already gone back to school.

we went to the historical attractions which had people dressed in colonial garb, including black tri-cornered hats, which earned them the name pirates from jove. "momma, where are the pirates?"

the highlights of our stay were our trips to the jamestowne settlement and virginia beach. in honor of jamestowne's 400th anniversary (1607!), totally new exhibits were made- a replica of a colonial fort, a powhatan native american village and replicas of the three ships that brought over the original settlers. exploring the ships and grinding corn were the highlights for jove. there was also an amazing indoor (yay, air conditioning) museum documenting the larger colonial issues and history. i was impressed with the presentation of the history of enslaved africans and native americans and also a critical lens applied to colonization (for example, the original boats carried guns, why, if they were just peaceful settlers?) A very cool place, we highly recommend it.

virginia beach is one of the nicest beaches i've been to in the states and the day we went it was cooler and less humid. There was a very large and beautiful stone statue of neptune which jupiter and jove are standing in front of here. Virginia beach is near an airforce base and fighter jets were taking off and practicing. jove enjoyed watching them, of course, he doesn't know what they're for.

this brings up another point that i thought a lot about while we were on out trip, how to explain war and violence to a kid. on the colonial ships there were cannons and jove wanted to know what they were used for, we saw people firing muskets (i don't think jove had ever even seen a gun anywhere before this trip) and many of the children's souvenirs in williamsburg were toy muskets. the reality is that i can explain the logistics of war, but i really don't get it myself, why do people want to hurt other people?? maybe it sounds naive, but most of us teach our kids to share and to empathize with others, but this isn't really what society values. any thoughts?


turner travels said...

it looks like you had an amazing time on your trip! glad it was fun and the heat not terrible. the statue at the beach is fantastic!

re. your question, i have no answer for you, just thoughts. it's a thin line society walks--half of the parents i know buy toy guns for thier kids, the other half is appalled and won't let thier little ones play with squirt guns (that's me).

at what point is violence okay? (a question not only for kids, but one that we need to answer for ourselves as well.) to protect your body on the playground? to protect your family? home? country? another's country and freedom? and who decides?

that's the easy part... right now, for your kid, you do.

miss you.

Nanimal said...

Ohhhh no - talking about war, dude... I fight with the same ideas. and for kids I feel like they think about it the same way George Bush presented it - well, get rid of the bad guy. Only, the bad guy is most likely not a bad guy in his own way, he's just trying to get rid of who he thinks is the bad guy... so they both just go after each other to make less bad guys in the world. If we took time to understand that people are different and everyone has good and bad in them, oh you know where I am going with this - I'm preaching to the choir (I adore that expression btw).
In our house if you want a weapon you have to hand craft it. Take a bent stick - stretch elastic on it - viola bow. But I do take a stance on guns, I think we are far to casual about them. However, when the boys are older - what age??? I will have them take a gun safety class - just in case they run into them. I will hope for a lesson of respect. oi, parenting is so complicated sometimes.