The Traveling Skeptic

by Jessica on April 28, 2011

The war of 1812, and the accompanying burning of the White House, was the topic of our history lesson today. We had touched on the fleeing of James and Dolly Madison from advancing British and moved on to Colonel Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans, when Ryan threw on the brakes.

“Wait a minute! Was the White House rebuilt?” he demanded incredulously. I explained that the White House was rebuilt in a little over three years to look exactly like it did before the fire.

“Well, that means it isn’t very old, then,” he insisted. In my best teacher voice, I rationalized that the famous building was almost 200 years old. He was unmoved.

“Look, the Coliseum is old, the Parthenon is really old. But, the White House is not old. It’s okay if people want to visit because that’s where the President lives, but I don’t want people to think that they are visiting something old. People need to know the truth.” Thus sayeth the ten year old cynic.

Which leaves me wondering: can traveling broaden your horizons too much?


Katie April 29, 2011 at 9:48 am

Haha love it! I remember feeling that way the first time I visited Rome in high school, like America was sitting at the kids table.

Camels & Chocolate April 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Haha, he's wise for one so young!

walkingontravels April 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Man you can always make me laugh when I'm feeling insane. Your son should watch Eddie Izzard when he is older (not kid appropriate at the moment). He does this whole bit in "Dressed to Kill" on how the US just tears their history down and puts parking lots in but the UK is having to drive around castles all the time and huge monuments. Check it out on youtube or netflix. You can get a good chuckle after the kids go to bed. April 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm

In his lifetime, that child will hear the phrase, "put a sock in it" more than a few times. April 29, 2011 at 3:39 pm

OMgosh, he is too funny. And I bet if you asked him about people, he would say anyone over thirty or so is old!

Sonja April 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I completely agree with him! I always feel that way in Europe – America is a youngster!

Jackie April 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm

So awesome! Funny post. Kids are so refreshing aren't they?

Keetha Broyles April 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Oh my! I LOVE this – – – and the kid's got a VERY GOOD point!

pinksundrops April 29, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Absolutely not! He's got it all in perspective. That's awesome!

dommy April 30, 2011 at 8:37 am

Tim always likes telling about going to a canoe school in Canada when that country was celebrating its 125th. One of the canoeist was from Scotland and amazed that the Canadians were making so much of their 125th, and that the Americans had made so much of their 200th not so long before that. I'm guessing your skeptic would figure the Scottish castles, etc. were quite new 😆 (links on my Google & TypePad ID are messed up) April 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Too funny (and so true!)! I don't think your horizon can ever be too broad. And to understand the difference and importance of such historic places at age 10 is quite impressive.

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