Thursday, October 9, 2008

Presidential Preferences

Some families follow sports. Others, sitcoms. Ours has a penchant for politics.
Past posts have revealed the kids' leanings in this election season (they're liberal; what seven-year-old wouldn't be?) , but their passion for the executive branch isn't limited to their lifespan. The fascination began a few years ago, with a pair of placemats. (Upon viewing them the first time, Sarah asked, "Where are the lady presidents?" Not a bad observation.)

With the unadulterated perspective of youth (and in my instance, an embarrassing lack of knowledge) we've explored together the forty-three preceding presidents -- their successes and scandals, their tribulations and triumphs, their lifestyles and legacies. Each child, with the benefit of "research," has declared their favorite(s).

Sarah, ever a free thinker, aspirationally assertive, outspoken and ever-seeking greater independence logically loves Thomas Jefferson. She also possesses a healthy appreciation for George Washington...the "first" and definer of the role ("He didn't want to be king of America.")Pop quiz:
[*Hint: the answer to ALL of the questions below is the same president!]

-Which president surely would've graced the cover of GQ (if it had existed in his lifetime) as a fashion forward trendsetter, with over 80 pairs of pants?

-Which president hosted phenomenal parties and hired Louis Comfort Tiffany to redecorate the White House?

-Whose sideburns (to all appearances) were brought back into vogue by a late-in-life Elvis?

-Which president alienated his own republican party (and as such, did not seek a nomination for a second term) as he sought to rid Washington of the corrupt "spoils system", imbue the government with greater integrity and the people with more power?

-Who was our 21st -- and Darren's favorite -- president (with whom he's pictured below)?

Give up? It's...

Believe me, without Darren's enigmatic decision, I'd never have known any of the above about the unjustly under-known president.

October 5, 2009 will mark Chester Arthur's 180th birthday. We may just throw an in-house party for the original maverick.

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PS - The pictures were taken at Presidents Park in Williamsburg in 2006. If your kids are politically passionate, we highly recommend it!

19 comments:

rachael said...

that really is so amazing that they are that interested in our country's past leaders. and how absolutely wonderful of you to encourage and support that! you are a fantastic mama!

Cheryl Lage said...

You're kind Rachael, but really, the interest and pursuit has been theirs! For us, it's been fun and educational too...I knew NOTHING about Chester Arthur, and now he's one of my favorite presidents too!(Please don't give us too much credit, we're raising largely sports-ignorant children...ooops.)

MommyJ said...

I am totally embarrassed to make a comment because I don't the answer to a single one of your questions... I can however, give you a complete and accurate description of John Adams, and his entire political career. That has to count for something, right? Introduce Sarah to Abigial Adams... not a present, but a female that did much to influence productive and positive government in her time.

MommyJ said...

not a president... I meant.

Nancy said...

hmmm. I have no idea about any of those questions...go you for your support of your kids' interests :)

...you'll be posting the answers, right?

Sara said...

Way to go for encouraging their little wonderings of our history. I have no idea about any of the questions. :-)

Harris Boys said...

I think your kids are more interested than I am. I think that's great...We may be looking at a future politican??

Cheryl Lage said...

ALL of the answers are Chester Arthur! See why we like him Chez Lage!? ;)

Maternal Mirth said...

Taking a stab:

1. John F Kennedy
2. ???
3. ???

crap ... this is never going to work. I slept through History until I got a HAWT teacher in high school and then I just stared blankly through class.

noble pig said...

What a cool park, wow, I love it!

Sandy Toes said...

What a fun post!!! I love Williamsburg!
-Sandy Toes

Laura said...

Umm..I think I'm cool just because I know there WAS a Chester Arthur..

Gail said...

We may have to take a trip to Williamsburg. Looks like a GREAT park! I love that you're helping them learn about politics at such an early age - even if the pursuit is theirs. In this day and age, young people are just not educated enough in that area. (And I love the fact Sarah noticed right off the bat there weren't any female presidents. lol Too cute!)

BoufMom9 said...

Wow! How great that they are so into our country's history. My kids are as well and I am certain we have the same placemats :)
Very interesting choices for your kids!

cc said...

I think that is so intersting about an unknown president! I didn't get it. I thought your pics were really cool.

cat said...

Great raising Cheryl - so important to let them exercise their own judgement.

Two Peas In a Pod said...

Very nice history lesson :) Your kids sound so smart!!!

Giovanna Diaries said...

That looks like an awesome park! We are planning a trip to Williamsburg next yearish...I definitely have to put that on the list to do while down there!

ChefDruck said...

Cheryl,
What a wonderful post. I would love to sit in our your history lessons! Placemats are such a great opportunity for learning - you've inspired me to bring them back.

Thanks!