An Interesting Subject

Yesterday began a new chapter in my wife’s and my parenting lives: homeschooling. This was a choice our son made for us, a choice we should have perhaps made eight years ago, but, as the saying goes, if we could have we would have. So here we are. The subjects to be taught have been divided, and I got math and social studies. When I broached the subject of social studies with Sawyer on Monday, he declared, “I don’t care about history. It’s boring. I don’t want to study it. It’s not important in my life. Let’s just skip it.”

Tempting as his suggestion was, I felt there were other options. But what to do? I know Sawyer, and humans in general, well enough to know that when the lights in his learning house are off, you can knock all you want on his door, but no one will answer. He just told me his lights are off. Given this, and given that he is supposed to learn about Washington State History, I decided there was only one logical place to begin our lessons: Nazis.

Like a lot of people, Sawyer is fascinated by Nazis. Why did they do what they did? How could they have done what they did? Were they evil, or sick, or something else? Sometimes I wish he were a little less interested in Nazis, but this isn’t one of those times. When Nazis, or Germans, or WWII are mentioned, the lights on his learning house blink on, and there he is at the door with all his questions.

How are the Nazis connected to Washington State History? I don’t know, nor do I need to. I don’t need to know because I already know that everything in human history is connected. Somewhere there is a path from Nazis to Washington State and we will find it by and by. Sawyer said that history is not important in his life, and in a way he is correct. I don’t think the dates and outcomes of certain battles and so on are really important in anyone’s life unless that sort of thing interests you the way model trains or football interests you.

But history is also just everything that happened before, everything people did and said and thought and wished for and dreamt and forgot and remembered, the great tide of love and fear called humanity that broke one day on the shore and coughed up Sawyer. Sawyer is a subject in which Sawyer remains consistently interested, and with luck he will understand he is every bit as interesting as Nazis.

Remember to catch Bill every Tuesday at 2:00 PM PST/5:00 EST on his live Blogtalk Radio program Author2Author!

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