The boys often pick out school library books that relate to themes we've been discussing at home. Somehow recently Nate brought up dictators, which led to a discussion about Hitler and the Holocaust so he brought home a WW2 book to read more. This last week, to go with a Benjamin Franklin/president themed play he's in at school, Alex brought home a huge book detailing the term of every president.
At bed time, the boys wanted to go through the president book so I thought it would be fun to walk through each of the presidents who died in office and how they died (talking too long outside dressed inappropriately! eating tainted cherries and milk!). When we got to Abraham Lincoln, not only did they know he had been shot in the head, but they knew he freed the slaves. And Alex said in his tiny little voice, "What is a slave?"
I've talked with my mom friends a lot about how one of the hardest parts of parenting is watching their naivety slowly slip away. It's one thing to explain there was a really horrible man in another country who rounded up all these people and killed them. It's another to explain that in our country, we used to steal people and enslave them. Their little minds are always filled with so many questions, some of which I can answer and some of which I don't want to answer. At the same time, these are great teaching moments, both for them and for me.