I fell in love all over again tonight when I was chatting with my 13-year-old son Solomon on Skype.
The other day I asked him what he’s learning in school and he mentioned that his class was reading a book called Gathering Blue By Lois Lowry. I was excited to hear that because when his older brother was his age his class read The Giver by Lois Lowry and I read along so that we could discuss it. I LOVED The Giver for it’s unique take on an alternate society and praised his teacher for exposing him to those ideas.
Well, Gathering Blue did not disappoint. I read the book, well a detailed synopsis of it anyway, and I hopped on Skype to discuss it with my 13-year-old baby. I didn’t water down the questions I wanted answers to, I engaged with him just as I would any other intelligent adult and he responded with thoughtful, well articulated arguments and opinions. My heart just melted. All of this time I have been WISHING for someone to discuss philosophy and books with and I can’t believe that the ONE person who can do it actually slipped out of my vagina 13 years ago!
I asked him questions like:
- What would the authorities in the village tell the villagers that there was a BEAST that would kill the villagers if they left the village yet there was really no BEAST?
- Why is it that the people who are the most gifted were imprisoned in the village yet the average people could be free?
- Was the society depicted in the book more like communism, socialism or a democracy?
- Why is it that the father used the option of a ‘boy’ being in the new village to try to persuade Kira to go with him?
- Why do you think this village believed it was beneficial to teach that anyone who was disabled was worthless?
- Why was it so important to have a person who was dedicated to be the SINGER and remind the village members of their traumatic pasts?
- Now that you have been exposed to the fact that there are social groups that have differing social structures and beliefs, how does that impact your view of the social beliefs you have been introduced to? Do you believe that yours is more ‘right’ than the others? Is being ‘right’ important?
We were getting it in!
And it wasn’t as though I had to coax an articulate answer from him. My son, my 13-year-old sugar pop loverboy handsome man honey bun Solomon had strong opinions of his own that helped me to shape my worldview. I am so proud of him, so proud to be his Mommy!