History Buff

The other day, Claire said she wanted to have a party at our house.  She wanted to have either a Valentines party or a history party.  That’s right, a history party!  The idea would be for people to come and dress up as mummies, cowboys, etc. and, you know, do historical activities.  I loved the idea and started to dream up historical snacks and drinks.  But I had to explain to Claire that we probably could not manage a party.  There are already so many birthday parties, and we can barely scrape through a weekend as it is just getting our basic chores and survival done, and hosting a party was going to be a tall order.  Still, I love the idea…

Anyways, it is nice to see that Claire’s interest in history has continued well past her trip to Washington DC, where she first discovered those glorious mummies and all things Egyptian at the Smithsonian.  Her Egyptian fascination continues.  She has lots of questions.  Is Egypt a real place?  What did the mummies do before they died?  Did the Egyptians ever come to Austin?  Who came before the Egyptians?  Do people live in Egypt now?  “No fair!  I want to live there!” she says and mock cries when I tell her yes, Egypt is real, and yes, people do live there.  It is almost like Egypt is Disneyland for her.  It is a place of golden masks, great pyramids, mysterious gods and goddesses, and fashionable wigs and sandals.

Claire’s interest in history continued when we got Claire a copy of the movie Night at the Museum and its sequel, which is set at the same Smithsonian museum that we went to in DC.  In the movies, all the museum’s characters come to life at night, including Teddy Roosevelt, a Roman general Octavius, Napoleon, Attila the Hun, an Easter Island statue, a playful dinosaur, and yes, a (fictional?) Egyptian king named Ahkmenrah.  Claire got really interested in the characters and was fascinated that they were (mostly) real people, not just storybook characters.  We have spent a lot of time telling Claire that such and so story or character is not real, only a story (Star Wars, Ponyo, Barbie), so it was pretty wild for her to think that all these interesting and sometimes scary people really did exist.  She had more questions.  Was Napoleon a bad guy?  Was Custer from Europe?  How did Amelia Earhart die? Was Octavius a real Roman general?  Were there Ro-women too, or only Ro-men (i.e., Roman)?  (Really, that was a question.)

But I don’t want to push this history thing too hard for fear of spoiling it for Claire.  Well hold off a few years before tackling the Oxford History of the United States.  She should be at least 9 or 10 years old, right?

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