This weekend something pinged the back of my mind again: I am living in a part of history.
See, I grew up experiencing history through Sonlight's living books. And that is absolutely fantastic. But too often I forget that my life is also taking place in history. Perhaps it's because my daily existence isn't as nice and neat as a well-written book. But whatever the reason, present history doesn't seem as... well... real as the history in Sonlight's titles.
Record high temperatures several years back where it was over 104 every day for a week while we moved our stuff into our house?
Hardly noticed. Had I blogged about it, I'm sure I could have made it much more impressive. I could craft the story, share the sweat, and make it sound horrible; you know, in the "uphill both ways through 65 feet of snow barefoot" kind of way. Only, it'd be the "hot summer moving" version.
In the past, I've heard about "record high" temperatures and thought, 'Crazy! How did they ever deal with that?' And, then you live through it and, well, it's just life.
What struck me over the weekend was hearing that one of my friends had Swine Flu. She's doing much better now, but it brought this moment of history home. This isn't just something happening out there in the world, like some dry fact of history from a textbook. This is a real, living moment of history, the way Sonlight lets us experience it.
It felt wrong, but I actually thought, 'Sweet! I know someone with Swine Flu!'
So today, don't just tell your children that they are "part of history" or that such-and-such is an "historical event"--as that never really worked for me. Instead, remind them of the people, places and things they've known, visited and done that will help them remember that their lives will one day be a part of history as well. That should give them a better appreciation for those who experienced the history they are reading about now. I hope it will also inspire them to make the most of the history they are writing with their lives.
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father