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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

11/12/2004

Of First Birthdays and History

Max, my little one, turned one yesterday. I am inclined to think one is a rather lovely birthday. Max was walking, blew out the candle so fast I had to restage it to get the picture, finished the last two sips of a wine glass I carelessly put within reach and generally had a great time being the center of attention. I like one because it is not about presents. But really big red balloons are pretty cool.

Max and his brother Sam are growing up in a world that is wired, at war, and, to a frightening degree, increasingly unaware of history. Max was born on Rememberance Day but I wonder how much will be remembered by the time he hits school. In a sense, the nature of political correctness, the culture wars and our own tendency to want to forget the blood and toil which created Canada and the West, conspire to make learning history a subversive activity. An activity for cranks who cannot get with the "ever better, ever more inclusive" bandwagon.

So, I fear, Max and Sam will be a bit cranky. Kids like stories and history is full of stories. Which we will tell. By Max's sixth birthday he will, at least, have some idea of why we remember. Which is a start.