Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Abraham Lincoln and al-Qaida

C is starting to get his History Channel stories confused. Saturday night I was wanting him to tell his Papa Kerry what he knew about Abraham Lincoln. I decided it was time for him to add some more facts to his story so I asked him what the name of the theatre was, which he surprised me because he already knew that. Then he added a new part on his own - about how they moved Lincoln from Ford's Theatre to a house where he later died. I had forgotten that part of the story so I learned something from C that night. Then Dad asked him who shot Lincoln. I thought that was a great idea for him to learn so I asked C if he knew who shot Lincoln. He said "Yeah, it was al-Qaida". We laughed and then Dad told him it was John Wilkes Booth. On Monday he was telling Grandma Robyn that Papa Kerry told him some other guy shot Lincoln, but he still thinks it was al-Qaida.

I know some will probably be horrified that our almost 6 year old even knows anything about al-Qaida and think that we let him watch way too much stuff that is too old for him. I know kids are growing up way too fast, partly due to what the see and hear from TV. At first I didn't know what to think about it. I honestly wondered where he had learned about al-Qaida, but it is really impossible to have not at least heard the word used. Everytime you turn on the TV or radio there is usually something on the news about it.I started wondering if I've done damage to my child that will cause him to grow up to be violent or just be a worrier. Then it occurred to me that his knowing the word al-Qaida isn't that different than those growing up at anytime since America was settled. There have always been the "bad guys" in our world and I'm sure countless children have grown up hearing and using those names. During World War II every child alive would've known about Germans and Japanese, in the 50's it was North Korea, 60's it was Cuba, Castro and the spread of Communism. I even remember growing up knowing about the Soviet Union. I don't think I'm too badly damaged and I don't think those who grew up in generations prior to mine are doing too badly either. We all survived and so have countless others knowing the names of the "bad guys".

I doubt that C even exactly understands what the word al-Qaida means. I'm guessing he thinks Lincoln was shot by a man named Al, but I could be wrong.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't get it to play. And, yes I had my volume on


Leslie said...

Do you remember wearing those yellow buttons during desert storm? And the one that had a picture of Saddam Hussein's face with a line through it?