When I was in ninth grade my family moved to Virginia for a year. We visited a lot of Civil War sites and my brothers Evan and Darren became obsessed with all things Civil War.
When we visited Dover castle a couple weeks ago we took a tour of the underground tunnels that were used in World War II, and the tour included a lot of WWII history. Cameron and Eli were enraptured, game set and match they are now obsessed with all things WWII. At the library they have chosen multiple books about the war and actually read them. I think this is fabulous except that sometimes I worry that they are glamorizing war, rather than really comprehending the destruction, sacrifice and hardships of it. But I'll be thinking of ways to address that...
So lately Cameron is has been really interested in geography, and empires, and why the Japanese and Germans were so interested in conquest. He loves looking at maps and playing make believe war scenarios.
I can already see the ways living here is changing him. Not changing his personality, or even necessarily his character. But his interests and passions are evolving in ways I feel grateful for. He has a new awareness about the world and countries and politics. I don't want to dramatize this or make it seem more significant than it is because he is still a nine year old with a bad attitude and a total lack of gratitude. But he is thirsty for knowledge and I am so excited for all the opportunities unfolding for him. Whenever we meet people from different countries, he wants to come home and look it up on the iPad. He asks questions all the time and actually listens to our answers. Richard is much more patient with him, and will take the time to give thorough explanations about people and ideas. He seems to just soak it all up. The other day I overheard him explaining to Eli about why we got into a war with Iraq over WMDs.
I don't know how well Eli and Miriam and Simon will remember our time here, so I sort of have all my eggs in Cameron's basket so to speak, as far as this experience really making a difference in any of my children's lives. But I already feel hopeful for him, and hope that these curiosities stick with him for the next two years, and life.