Friday, March 26, 2010

Real hardships

We just finished listening to On the Banks of Plum Creek, and I feel profoundly humbled by it. I'm sure she glossed over some bits - everyone is so darn good in these books and always happy and cheerful - but really the stuff they had to live through and they just kept going.

The kids love these books, just as I did as a child, but they don't really see the story the way I do now. It served as a starting point for some conversations about the abundance and materialism we live with, and some conversations about simplicity and charity and responsibility, but what seems to have struck them is the life and death drama of it all.

Hypatia is currently very upset about death. She has come to me crying, worried that I and her dad will die and leave her all alone. She is very angry that people die, and we are spending a lot of energy on helping her come to grips with this reality.

And then Carbon seems to feel like he's not good enough. He cried to me the other night, that he wished he could go back in time and change things, because he had been bad so many times and he couldn't stop thinking about them all. When I asked what he had done that was "bad", he cited a time he had made mud when he was supposed to be playing nicely in the yard. I comforted him and we talked about how it is normal human nature to feel regret, and that he really hadn't done anything so very bad.

It's a lot of emotion, seemingly triggered by one book.

1 comment:

  1. This post brings back memories of the nine year change when my daughter was in Waldorf school. Her nine year change actually happened around age 11 and the materials traditionally read around age nine were simply too much for her – stories of struggle with dark undertones. She was not ready to process them and had similar results. Fortunately, a temporary switch in reading material did the trick.