A couple years ago we were studying a Konos Unit on Courage and spent many days reading about Martin Luther (Not King, the original one.) The children were shown the various parts of the movie Luther that would not cause nightmares, or create the desire to make weapons of torture. Many questions were asked regarding the dress and “donut” hair-do of the monks. We tracked Luther’s travels on our wall map. We took turns quoting from his famous speech at the Diet of Worms in Germany that shook the Holy Roman Empire to its core and thus began the Reformation. (Side note: I am learning so much while teaching the kids. If nothing sticks with them, at least my Trivial Pursuit knowledge base is expanding.)
During our study, we traveled to the oldest mission in the West, San Xavier del Bac down near Tucson, AZ. It is a gleaming white building with twin bell towers (one remains unfinished) that sticks out like a giant marshmallow trying to hide in the flat brown desert. My children had never crossed the threshold of a Catholic church and we wanted them to see the pride and beauty of the historic 200+ year old building. The original solid, carved mesquite-wood doors are still holding in the interior coolness…. even in the summer. Breathtaking. That’s the only word that comes to mind to describe the paintings, not only framed and hanging, but on all the walls and the ceiling. Frescoes, statues, mock-rope trim, all reminiscent of another place (Spain) and time (1800s). End of history lesson.
The three kids were admiring all the candles and the hundreds statues of saints, monks and holy men adorning the altar. We were among many silent visitors and solemn parishioners at the front of the church, when my seven-year-old son, Keeve, yelled excitedly while pointing to a specific statue of a monk, “Hey, Mom! There’s Martin Luther!” No one laughed except me, and it was one of those burst out blasts-of-a-laugh that you can’t control, and is really loud especially in a quiet, echo-y place. When I recovered, I whispered, “No, honey. There’s no staute of Martin Luther in THIS church.” We left rather quickly and discreetly.
Hey, I wouldn’t have even known why it was humorous two months previously. I just LOVE innocent, politically incorrect errors!