Like most good things in my life, it started with a stack of books...
Note: In the spirit of back-to-school I dug up pictures from last Spring's 'History Week'. If you notice Lan looking somewhat thin and pasty in these pictures, disregard it and know that he has changed since then... He is now scrawny and pale instead.
-- This has been a paid announcement by Older Brothers and Sisters Anonymous
Back to our scheduled programming...
Last Spring I traded kids with my mom. It was a 2 to 2 trade, Bee and Tboy for Lan and Jax. She planned to do some age-appropriate activities with her two grandchildren. I planned to host a history week for my two brothers.
It started at the library with an arm-load of books on the Alamo. Lan had seen a film on this event and was interested in learning more. I'm not one to squander youthful curiosity. It is a force that should be utilized and taken advantage of by anyone trying to teach young people.
So we studied the Alamo.
But my brothers, especially Lan, are hands-on kids.
They were quickly bored with just reading about the battle.
We needed a project.
We needed plastic to protect the table.
We needed tools.
We needed Mountain Dew.
We needed building kits.
We needed glue and paint.
We needed some warriors, albeit plastic ones.
We needed natural items to make our projects look as genuine as possible.
We needed maps, pictures and diagrams of the mission. At least there, we got to go back to my delightful books.
Through searching for the details of the building's structure we became relative Alamo experts. We had to figure out much of how life was lived in Texas at that time, how the battle happened, who was there and how they dies or stayed alive in order to build a historically-accurate replica.
We constantly referred back to the books as we built. We cross-referenced the information given in different books to find the most factual source.
I loved every bit of it.
It fed a certain thirst for facts within me.
Here is our Alamo:
We had chosen to recreate only a small part of the legendary outpost. The ancient mission site seemed the most reasonable as it is the most recognizable portion and was at the heart of the action in the battle.
There is so much I didn't know about this historical event and I wont put it all down here. But what impressed me most was how connected we felt to the little troupe of fighters in the fort. It was impossible to study them and not be touched by their bravery.
"Remember the Alamo."
- Sam Houston
The battle of the Alamo will forever be a testament to the vitality and strength of the human heart. Just as our new knowledge of the event proves the power of curiosity, good books,and a challenging project.
A desire for understanding.
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