As my kids get older it becomes increasingly exciting to watch their unique traits and gifts mature. Hudson, my second born, is the witty prankster in the family. He has a gift for humor and I want to expose him to as many people as I can that use that gift for the good of others. Part of our 6th grade homeschool curriculum involves a significant study of a historical figure. As an Oklahoman, there is no one that stands out more in the area of using humor for good than Will Rogers.
Born in Indian Territory, Rogers had a front row seat to watch this area become the state of Oklahoma. His wit and insight into current events marked the political landscape and the thoughts of the average American.
“My ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but they met the boat.” ~ Will Rogers
I highly recommend studying the life of Will Rogers prior to a visit to the Will Rogers Memorial Museum. For Hudson it was a culmination of his studies. He recognized things from movies and books and instantly remembered the context of quotes that hung on the walls of the museum.
Honestly though I am not sure who is having more fun with this study – me or Hudson! He brought his lasso to the museum and took advantage of several opportunities to practice his Will-inspired trick roping.
“We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.” ~ Will Rogers
There is a display of letters sent to Will Rogers that simply had a drawing of his face or his name…the post office knew who to deliver it to regardless of if there was an actual address or not. (Below “W + ill + rod + jars”)
“I never met a man I didn’t like.” ~ Will Rogers
A short drive from the museum and memorial is the Roger’s birthplace ranch where Will was born. Again, this was so fun to visit after reading various stories of his childhood. As a child Will would often go upstairs to where his sisters slept and then curl up on the outside 2nd story porch to sleep. His morning view was the beautiful lake.President Roosevelt said of Rogers,
“With it all his humor and his comments were always kind. His was no biting sarcasm that hurt the highest or the lowest of his fellow citizens. When he wanted people to laugh out loud he used the methods of pure fun. And when he wanted to make a point for the good of mankind, he used the kind of gentle irony that left no scars behind.”
When I think of raising a man that has the gift of humor, Roosevelt’s words about Will Rogers inspire me. If I can help steer and guide Hudson to use his gift of humor in a way that causes people to laugh and think without leaving scars and hurt, it would thrill my heart.
What an adventure parenting is! Having the chance to come alongside a child and say, “I see _______ gift in you and it is amazing just like you! Let’s figure out how to develop and grow you up in it” Goodness I love being a mom!