By Diane Ako
Alternate working title for this post: Are you smarter than a first grader?
Olivia started asking me what I know about the Pilgrims, because she needs to write a report about them. The teacher read them a story and asked the class to write about it.
"What do you have?" I asked.
"They sailed from England to America, and some died or got sick because of the ship. They left England because they didn't want to go to the King's church; they had their own church to go to. They met Squanto in the spring and he taught them to do all sorts of stuff. They were so happy, they had a feast for three days," she said.
"Who is Squanto?" I asked.
"I have no idea. A guy who was their friend," she answered. "So, what else can I add to this?"
That's actually more information than I know at this point. How embarrassing. I'm American and I just go through this national ritual without thinking too much about the origins.
Pressed to answer, I offered, "Did she tell you the year was 1620?"
"No," Olivia said without enthusiasm. One measly fact; lame, Mom! "What else do you know about this?"
"Um. Did she tell you what they ate for dinner?" I threw back.
"No... do you know anything besides what I told you?" Olivia quizzed suspiciously.
"I don't. We can search it online?" I admitted.
"I'll ask Daddy," she stated, and I could feel my relevance being sucked out of me.
"You can't. It's not his holiday," I explained. "They don't have that in Denmark."
I feel like I've just told her the precursor to the Santa myth. I mean, for years we've said we know all and see all, and now we both know less than she about the Pilgrim Fathers.
In trying to be positive, I will say I am thankful that I still know some things that my kid doesn't. For now.