A Mom's Guide to the Land of Lincoln
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A story our kids should know
Mention Abraham Lincoln to little kids, and they pretty much think big hat. And pennies. Maybe something about slavery. Certainly not the focus of a cool summer getaway.
But as an Illinoisan, I can't help but think that the 16th president's story is one my 8-year-old son, Seth, ought to know.
Lincoln just might be history's best role model. He had a mind of his own and loved to read. He overcame prejudices to see race in a new way. Always humble, he stuck to his principles.
Lincoln's larger-than-life legend as the president who preserved the union and freed the slaves is almost too monumental to model. Illinois, which witnessed Lincoln's maturation from barefoot farm boy to president, has a human-scale story to tell.
I want Seth to hear it, and I want to make this a fun summertime road trip, so I ask my friend Kim and her 7-year-old daughter, Ella, to join us.
"What do you know about Honest Abe?" I ask the kids as we hit the interstate. "He became president and helped with slavery," Seth says. "He wears a tall hat," Ella offers. OK, then.
Pictured: Heading for the Old State Capitol, where Lincoln served as a member of the Illinois legislature.