Saturday, August 01, 2009

Prof. Gavin

Gavin is the eternally adorable child. For starters, he is a stick -- all arms and legs, elbows and knees. He now wears a size 7 for length, but needs a 6 for his waist. And, wonderfully, his two front teeth are now M.I.A.

We spent our Fourth of July weekend in Williamsburg, VA. It was our second trip in two years, and -- given how well things went -- if the fates work with us, we'll head back for July 4, 2010.

This time around, Gav was even more "into" the whole experience... and I'm not talking about the kids' activities (which we didn't get to this year, to be honest). He was the one front-and-center at the cabinet maker's shop asking how wooden hinges worked and how they made animal glue and what a particular hammer was for. He learned how a lock worked at the blacksmith's (but was disappointed that they weren't making nails like last year). He tried to answer the questions posed during the lantern tour we took on Friday night (only got one right, but I'm more awed by the fact that he made the attempt). He dragged us through the gardens and the flowerbeds, asking a bajillion questions, identifying the ones he knew, and trying to pick as much as he could without us noticing.

The best moment, however, was Saturday afternoon.

Because I was still a bit miserable from a lingering cold, I sent my boys on without me on Saturday morning. Sleep was a necessity -- particularly if I was going to make it to the fireworks that night. When they returned at noon, we went to lunch and then began our walk back to Colonial Williamsburg (CW).

First, however, we had to stop at the Great Hope Plantation, which is next to the Visitor's Center and en route to CW. Gav wanted to show me the piglets they had seen that morning. My boys had spent the morning there, learning a good bit about a tobacco plantation.

So, what made it so wonderful? Professor Gavin, of course.

My little man gave me the grand tour, reciting everything he'd learned that morning. He showed me the barn, the tobacco, the dried tobacco, the tools used to farm the tobacco, the piglets, the chickens, the slave quarters, the well, the smoke house, the hams in the smoke house, the tools outside of the smoke house, the cows... you get the picture. It wasn't "what's this, mom?" it was "look at this, mom, and this is what it was used for."

I am, needless to say, proud as proud can be of my young historian... particularly since all of this is innate. The husband and I had nothing to do with his decision to give mom a spontaneous history lesson. Or perhaps we had everything. Nature or nurture? Don't know, to be honest. All I know is that he was having the time of his life teaching mom everything she ever needed to know about running a tobocca plantation. And, frankly, so was I.

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