Courageous & Strong

Each time my Daisy Scouts meet, we discuss a line from the Girl Scout Promise. And every time they learn a new line they receive a petal (patch) that represents the concept. Recently we talked about "courageous and strong". We read a story about what it means to be courageous and strong. We talked about things that we do that require courage and strength. And we watched a short cartoon about people who were courageous and strong. Helen Keller and Rosa Parks.

My child really latched on to Rosa Parks, recognizing her in a similar cartoon short about Martin Luther King and referencing her several times in conversations. I was (am) really happy that something she learned in Daisy Scouts stuck. Not for nothin'- all this effort. So, I hatched a plan to nurture this interest in Rosa Parks, combining it with another relevant interest- a desire to ride a city bus. Janie Kathryn is somewhat obsessed with buses and wanting to ride on one.

Jorma was not as enthusiastic as I had hoped. Honey, let's take a 40 minute bus ride downtown, transfer to the trolley and check out the Rosa Parks exhibit at The Civil Rights Museum. But when he realized how excited Janie Kathryn was about the idea, he relented. A trooper, that husband of mine.

So, we headed downtown. Janie Kathryn's favorite part was riding the trolley. My favorite part was her excited chant, inside the museum, as we stood in line to board the bus with a statue of Rosa Parks. "I'm going to see Rosa Parks on the bus, I'm going to see Rosa Parks on the bus." Note: Janie Kathryn wanted me to break the rules and take a photo of her on the bus, but Girl Scouts respect authority, so no photo. Jorma's favorite part was when it was over. Did I mention my husband is a trooper?

If you're wondering if the Civil Rights Museum is age appropriate, I'd have to say no, if your child is six years old. There are quite a few large photographs of noose victims. There was a 10-minute video at the beginning of our tour, about which I inquired about age appropriateness. Yeah, a little inappropriate. After the film, we were the last to leave the theater, explaining why crosses were burned and the police (POLICE!) were dragging women across the ground.

Though my original plan was to zip in and out, visiting only the "Rosa Parks bus," our overall experience was good. As Jorma pointed out, everything else opened a dialogue- a dialogue that fosters an understanding of just how courageous and strong Rosa Parks and so many others had to be. And if you're wondering how I explained burning crosses to six year old...  

"Well, in this world some people are mean just for the sake of being mean. Those people who burned the crosses were trying to make people afraid- afraid of doing the right thing." 

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