So one of the downsides to raising socially aware children is that they’re going to ask you uncomfortable questions.
The Oldest Kidlet is going through a massive space phase (though I get the inkling that this isn’t a phase, but a calling). Where I wanted to be an astronaut at his age, he wants to put people in space. (If you have a space minded kid like mine, our two favorite games are Universe Sandbox – where you can create your own solar system, and Kerbal Space Program – where you can build your own rockets, shuttles and rovers, and explore a fictional space station. Note: Kerbal has a pretty high learning curve because you have to learn about the angles of trajectory. There’s a WIKI with walkthroughs, but it takes a fair amount of crashing to get the hang of it. You can get both on Steam)
So when I saw the trailer for Hidden Figures, I watched it through and let him take a look. Hidden Figures is the true story of some of the unknown members of NASA’s team for the Moon Race – three African-American Women.
And after watched it, he looked at me. “They weren’t in any of the books I read this summer.” (And he read a lot about space this summer) “Why haven’t we heard about them? Is that because they’re women?” His voice lowered. “Was it because they were black women?” His brow furrowed. “That’s stupid!”
Which it is. And I’m proud of the fact that my nearly 11 year old son can watch something like this and these are the questions he asks and the conclusions he comes to. A couple years ago, he wouldn’t have pieced that together.
His class’s unit on California Missions was pretty interesting for that same reason- he devoured the history, but ranted at home for ages about how unfair it was that the Native American tribes had their culture ripped away from them. And that makes me happy. Because part of growing as human beings is being able to appreciate the accomplishments, but criticize the mistakes.
The only downside of this, is that you’re never really aware of where conversations will go. He’s surprised me numerous times by asking me about news stories he sees when he opens up the browser to go to YouTube. Or when he didn’t understand cellular division when he was watching Cosmos, and I ended up having a long discussion with him about how fetuses grow from a single cell. (We’ve had to preface those conversations as ones that he shouldn’t go yakking about with friends, because it’s up to other parents to decide when conversations like that happen)
And don’t get me started on how most of these conversations pop up in the car…
Are you excited for Hidden Figures?