Wednesday, July 17, 2013

History IS fun!

When Alysa came to us almost three years ago now, she really didn’t like history. She had failed it at least once in school, and really could not see the appeal of dead men and stuff that happened long long ago. Since then she has worked a Renaissance Faire, visited ancient cities in Israel, watched countless costume dramas, and absorbed quite a lot by living with Stephen and me. Last year at Christmas when she came to visit the museum she caught one of the junior volunteers who gave the incorrect date: Alysa actually corrected her with the right date! And for her birthday this year she asked to dress up and join me in the garden at Strawbery Banke for the day!

I borrowed a dress from the museum costume supplies, she had a corset she had purchased through Amazon, she had boots she wore horseback riding, and I provided the petticoats. The night before, she read up on the person she was to play and even read an article I gave her on the dreaded disease of consumption. She woke up in plenty of time the next morning, we both got into our fancy victorian duds, and hit the road.

She was quiet in the morning, helping me water the garden beds and potted plants. She listened to me interact with all the school groups, and admitted to an unknown talent for croquet.
In the afternoon when she had relaxed we had a marvelous time. We pulled vines and saplings out of some bushes that had been neglected, we collected straw flowers to dry for the winter, and we had a tea party with some pastries I had managed to smuggle in to celebrate her birthday. She even grew bold enough to answer visitors’ questions. We both had fun, but more important, she did exactly what she wanted for her birthday.

I am proud that in the past two years she is calmer, happier, more polite, more self confident, but there is a little part of me that warms when she admits that history is now something she enjoys.

Alysa in Goodwin Garden.

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