Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I would venture to say that nearly every parent believes their offspring to be in possession of a singular talent, ability or genius. While I can't, at this time anyway, point specifically to a particular talent or ability (though she does do a mean ballerina spin in the living room), Claire is most certainly in possession of an eager brain. She laps up new information like a thirsty dog (ok, bad simile there), and is constantly asking questions. Now, I am quite aware that this behavior is common among children of her age, but let me just pretend that her quest for knowledge is part of her "genius." After all, she did tell me the other day that she was "so exasperated."

This quest most certainly has caused problems for her, as simple answers aren't enough for her overactive brain and imagination. No, she has to know exactly where bees live and how it feels to be stung, what kind of bug is that on the bottom of the pool and what does it eat and does it have a stinger, etc. Nightmares were a common problem for her when she was younger, to say the least.

Anyway, the result of all this is that she will oftentimes get fixated on a particular topic of interest. And, for the last few weeks or so, Indians have been the topic of choice. They first entered her sphere of knowledge via the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and Laura's account of Indians while living on the prairies. Certainly not one to be included in the current politically correct category, Wilder's view of Indians is often fearful, disdainful and derogatory. This, of course, sparked Claire's interest and we spent many minutes discussing where Indians lived, what they wore, why they were so mean then, etc. To add to this already colorful picture of our Native American friends, is Claire's current fascination with the Disney version of Peter Pan. She tends to watch a movie over and over for a week or so and then move on to a new one. Well, I am fairly certain that Walt Disney has no friends in the Native American population. His depiction of the "Red Man" is stereotypical at best and rudely derogatory at worst.

So, when Claire found out that King is the annual host to the Indian Pow-Wow, she was determined to attend. Having fears that she would arouse hostility by asking the nearest "red man" why he wanted to kill white people or when was the last time he used his tomahawk, I spent a lot of time explaining to her that, for the most part, Indians are just like we are, are not mean, etc. I do think this finally hit home for her because I overheard her talking to Benjamin and telling him not to worry when we went to the Pow-Wow because the Indians don't want to kill us anymore. Right, at least we got that one covered.

I've posted a few pictures from that day. None of them are taken too close to any actual Native Americans, as Claire was not comfortable enough to stand next to them. But she seemed to enjoy herself.

These two pictures are of a game where a woman runs in front of a boy or man and tries to protect him from getting swatted by the broom-wielding other male participant. ???
So, Claire met some real Indians, and now she can rest easy in the knowledge of our peaceful Native Americans. Plus she has some new information to file away in that genius mind of hers.


Johnson said...

Great story! Claire sounds a lot like my 4 yr old Kourtney. At least once a day I have to end a string of questions by saying, no more questions, mommy is all out of answers. I feel bad, but it is hard to answer non-stop. I do love that she has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge!


Kelly said...

I'm so glad that race relations did not take a giant leap backwards! haha I can just imagine the looks you would have gotten! She is such a funny little girl.