We’re wrapping up our studies on WWII. Question: How do you explain about the holocaust without scarring a nine year old boy?
Mutants come into their powers when they reach adolescence or during a particularly emotional event. The opening scene of X-men shows a teenaged Magneto with his Jewish family being herded somewhere in Poland in 1944. It’s raining and there’s mud and yellow stars on everyone’s clothes. Then, the soldiers separate Magneto from his parents. His mother starts to scream. Magneto is horrified and heartbroken. He tries to get to his family, but the soldiers hold him back.
Right then, his powers manifest themselves. With the four soldiers holding him back, Magneto bends the metal gate separating him from his family with his mind, and then drags the four soldiers through the mud, until someone hits him over the head and knocks him out.
It’s a scene that is realistic enough to understand the heartbreak of being persecuted for no good reason. But at the same time, since there’s the element of comic superpowers, it dampens the reality of it enough to show to a 9 year old boy.
The rest of the movie is based on Magneto’s deep aversion to registering people who are different, (the mutants) because, historically speaking, we all know that’s a Bad Idea.
So….while I washed and they dried, we watched X-men on the tv in the kitchen.
(Note to self: move Captain America to the #1 spot in my Netflix queue.)
Oh, and another comic book character came through today, too.
First, the backstory: Boy9 is terribly angry that a simple predicate is the same thing as a verb. “Why do they have to call it a ‘simple predicate’? Why can’t they just call it the verb?” It drives him nuts that the same word can be both things at the same time.
I mentioned this to another homeschooling parent in the karate waiting room today, and she said, “Well, Superman is also called Clark Kent. Does he know about Superman and Clark Kent?”
Does he know about Superman and Clark Kent? This is Boy9 we’re talking about!
Boy9 spent a year of his life dressed in a Superman costume every single day. A year. I bought him the most adorable outfits when he was 5 and he covered them up every day with his Superman costume.
The only place he couldn’t wear his costume was to church, and then he would insist that the Sunday School teachers call him Clark and he’d write “Clark” on his coloring sheets.
So, when I told him to think of simple predicates as Superman and verbs as Clark Kent, I think it finally (finally!) clicked that sometimes the same thing can have two names.