Friday, June 17, 2005

Fragile Young Minds

My oldest child is getting more and more curious at what daddy is reading. The other day she said to me "Daddy, all of your books have tanks and ships - don't you like to read about animals?"

Basically, all I have been reading this year is the Morison Set (only 6 volumes left!). In general, every book I read is about some sort of military conflict or aspect thereof although I just read Freakonomics and it was pretty good for a change of pace.

In the Morison Set I am now reading about the terrible battle for Saipan. There are lots of photos in these books and I try to keep the carnage to a minimum for the little eyes. It is tough to explain to someone who's entire life has been pretty much sheltered from death and destruction that men can and do kill each other routinely and with great zeal. Especially in the Pacific in WW2. When it comes to wars, I just try to change the subject. The screen background for my laptop at home is the USS New Jersey firing a 16" shell at commie positions in Vietnam. My girl asked me - what is that big blowup coming off the ship? How do you explain to this very impressionable mind that it is part of a bombardment in Vietnam? Well, you don't. Not yet anyway. I just changed the subject.

It will be interesting to see if either of my kids takes any interest in history as they grow up. My wife has told me that she senses big problems for my children's history teachers if my kids come home and spout any mistruths about the wars. This is true.

I sure hope my kids get a good base of history because there sure are plenty of grown ups who don't know a damn thing about history - like Dick Durbin. Someone really should rush to get a copy of this book into Dick Durbin's hands before he compares anyone to Pol Pot again.

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