Columbus Day, wha???

Anybody else forget it was Columbus Day? We did, until hubby called from work and said, “Do you know it’s some kind of holiday today? The banks are all closed!?” And I was all, “Wha???” He was able to come home early and the kids and I planned how to celebrate the day.

Well, at first they didn’t want to celebrate it because they said Columbus was a insensitive and selfish imperialist who only wanted to take over land that wasn’t his and destroy a culture that wasn’t his, either. I tried to explain ‘historic relativism’ and how we can’t judge past actions with present opinions, but they blew me off. They’ve watched enough History Channel shows on Columbus and conquistadors to want to cut him any slack.

I, however, was born and raised when Columbus and his ‘discovery’ were celebrated with months worth of crafts, stories, and songs, and so begged that we do SOMETHING.

The kids decided we should go to the pool and they could swim around discovering the different parts. Deep end, shallow end, lazy river, slide, rope swing, etc. But, and here’s the twist, they then thought it would be appropriate to name them the wrong thing. The deep end they named Atlantis, shallow end became Antarctica, lazy river was Venice, etc. “Hey Mom! We discovered the Mediterranean! Who cares if it looks like a slide!” They really cracked themselves up.

It made me wonder, do kids have public school on Columbus Day? Do they have a month worth of crafts, food, and songs about Columbus? Is he still generalized as an explorer who discovered a new world, or has relativism found it’s way into the public school, too? Enquiring minds want to know!

In any case, Happy Columbus Day for those who still want to celebrate things like that (like me!)

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8 Responses

  1. I don’t know about public schools, but my husband was home from work and he works for the state. I had to work though and my daughter’s daycare was open.

    Thank you for telling your kids about “historic relativism”! Everything gets so out of whack these days it is nice to hear that some people still care about history!! 🙂

  2. I do like to celebrate things like that. Or at least have a special book to read or make an art project.
    But I went to the bank today. It was open. I had no clue.

  3. Funny. 🙂 When I was in college in Chicago, lots of people from my arts school participated in the big Columbus Day parade. You know, historically accurate – people dressed as bloody slaves, I mean indians, diseased europeans leading them around with ropes, carrying their stolen gold. Flying the flags of the countries he did actually visit, you know, fun parade for the holiday! ;P Hahhahhahahaaahahaha.

  4. denise–I think my kids could get behind a parade like that, lol.

  5. I figured! 😉

  6. We had an interesting discussion about Columbus after I found out the bank was closed on Monday too! Interestingly enough, last year we celebrated “Canadian Thanksgiving” for fun – which is Columbus Day b/c DH’s work gave it off to him then and he had a Canadian friend come over and we had turkey and all the fixins. Love to celebrate it that way LOL!

  7. Joe had the day off, but Miss Violet still had school (international school – Columbus day did not rate a day off). They spent the week prior learning all about Columbus and where he was from and who he asked for money and what the names of his ships were, etc. Joe said there was a very funny moment where he had her in his (NATO) office and she was telling him and his coworkers all about how Columbus had discovered America and the Norwegian who sits next to him interrupted her to say “Actually, hundreds of years before that, a man named Leif Erickson… ”

    We’re getting a very well rounded education over here. 😉

  8. Totally forgot about it. Was baffled when visiting the mail box and my outgoing Netflix had not been picked up. I am such a slacker.

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