Friday, August 27, 2010

A Dinnertime Discussion

Last night at dinner, Miss B was eager to show us something she’s been learning in her 3rd grade class: how to sign the Pledge of Allegiance. (Her teacher is fluent in ASL.) She only knows part of it, but she was proud to show us what she had learned so far.

As she signed the first few words of the Pledge, Brett and I began to ask her if she knew what they meant.

“What does pledge mean?” I asked.

“It means to make a promise,” Miss B quickly responded.

“That’s right, honey,” Brett said. “What’s allegiance?”

“Oh, we talked about that in school today,” she said. “It’s being loyal to someone.”

And on we went. “What’s a republic?” “What does it mean to be under God?” “What’s indivisible?” (The sign for indivisible is really cool, by the way.)

All three kids were eager to voice their opinions, which led to a lively (if unconventional) discussion of government and authority. For example, four-year-old Buddy suggested that “under God” meant that God was above you, since He lives up in heaven; while J.J. offered that “indivisible” was like a candy bar that you have to eat whole, as opposed to M&Ms that you can sort by colors.

Then we got to the part of the Pledge that Miss B hadn’t yet learned to sign. But we were on a roll, so we asked her anyway. “What’s liberty?”

She wasn’t sure, so we explained to her that liberty means freedom. We talked about the Statue of Liberty and slaves being “liberated” and politicians who are called “liberals.”

And then we got to the final phrase of the Pledge: “…and justice for all.”

“What’s justice?” I asked her.

I was confident that she knew this one. After all, Brett and I have talked to the kids several times about the difference between justice and fairness. Plus, Brett has preached on the justice of God, and Miss B recently memorized Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

“Oh that’s easy, Mom,” Miss B said brightly. “Justice is a store that sells girls’ clothes.”


Just when you think you are finally getting somewhere with your kids…

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer, I saw your name on fb saying you would be praying for my grandson, Chad Jones. I remembered who you were and saw you had a blog, so I decided to check it out. I picked this one to read and had the best chuckle. Thanks for sharing a little piece of your real life.

    Laura's mom, Janet Bate