This is Learning

We had the most amazing day. I took my kids to a political rally in Washington, D.C., right next to the Capitol building.  The rally was about raw (unpasteurized) milk, the fact that it should be legal and getting the FDA out of nutritional decision making for families who know and believe in the benefits of grass-fed cows who give fresh milk from farmers they know and trust.

But for us it was about so much more.  Firefly has been very interested in current events lately and we’ve been watching the news and engaging in meaningful discussions. He truly amazes me for a seven year old, with the questions he asks and the thoughtful way that he talks about issues.  In the process, he’s seen multiple violent protests on the news:  Lybia and Greece for example.

Kids running to meet the cow.

I wanted him to see that people can protest peacefully in order to draw attention to a cause they believe in, and ultimately, hopefully, see real changes happen.  I want him to be a law abiding citizen, yes, but I also want him to know that some laws are based on outdated or inaccurate information and some are unfair or simply wrong (think slavery).  There are other reasons, too, but I don’t want him to grow up simply accepting things as they are.  I want him to continue his thoughtful approach and if he sees something unjust, I want him to know that he can be a part of changing it.

This is Leah Mack of Union Bridge, MD, leading the cow to be milked.

I wasn’t sure how this would play out today, me bringing three little kids to a political rally in the city, so I went with only the expectation that we would arrive there. Whatever else happened was fine. If all we did was walk by the crowd of protestors, that was fine. If we got to stay for the rally, great. If we got to do other stuff while we were down in the city, bonus. But if we simply saw a crowd gathered around a cow (more on that in a minute) and then went back home, that would be okay.

Well, we got to do all of that and more.  We arrived to find a very varied group of people:  women with long hair and ankle-length skirts, men in business suits, a group of yogis dressed all in white, families of all kinds, many suburban moms just like me and tons of kids.  I got to hear a bit of some of the speakers, like Sally Fallon Morell, who wrote Nourishing Traditions, and then the cow arrived.  Yes, a cow was going to be milked, right there on Capitol Hill and people were going to drink the raw milk to make a point.

There was also a table set up and  free, raw milk from grass-fed cows was being served. We got some and  it was really refreshing in the hot morning sun.  While we drank it,  I made a mental note to remember to bring sunscreen to any future political rallies, as most are probably outside (oops).

Now, my kids have had raw milk before, many times, and they still live to tell about it.  Currently, we are on a waiting list to buy into a herd share at a local farm.  We know the farmer personally and buy many other dairy and meat products from her already. Ironically, I found her on a homeschooling message board a couple of years ago.

Sally Fallon Morell addressing the crowd.

Anyway, after the speakers finished, the cow arrived. The kids all started to run towards the cow.  The woman leading the cow stopped for a long time and let the kids pet the cow while many photographers snapped photos, with the Capitol building in the background.  The cow happily munched on grass until she was led to a roped off area and milked.

Firefly stood there snapping photos while I kept the younger two out of the sun and happy with snacks.

The cow being milked. She really was a good sport about the whole thing.

When they had all had enough and said they wanted to go, we did. We started to wander. We explored a park with a fountain, then found our way to the National Mall, spread out our picnic blanket and ate our lunch. The kids fed pigeons and then picked a random museum and we went in. It turned out to be the National Gallery of Art.

Having just discovered the Olivia books, they were thrilled to go to an art museum and gaze at paintings, just like Olivia.  We saw paintings by Degas, Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh and many more.  Firefly decided Monet was his favorite. We bought a book about Monet from their wonderful Children’s Store, then got some gelato (another Olivia coincidence) at the cafe, before heading back to the car, just in time before a storm rolled in.

In the car, Firefly asked, “Can we still do reading when we get home, Mom?”  Be still my heart. This is the child who fought, literally kicking and screaming in September whenever he saw me pull out our reading curriculum.  The child who finally, reluctantly began to plod through two pages a day of Progressive Phonics, until finally he got through a whole level of books and has now just begun to find his confidence in beginning reader-type of books.  “Can we still do reading?!”, I thought to myself.  Calmly, I answered, “Sure.”

So read we did. We came home and snuggled on the couch and he read two books to me and I read him one.  

And now I am listening to baths being had upstairs, courtesy of The Husband, and I am thinking what a perfect day.  What an amazingly wonderful and perfect day.  This is learning.

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This entry was posted in healthy living, homeschooling, Museums and Field Trips. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to This is Learning

  1. Dawn says:

    What a great post! Glad you had a great day – very inspiring.

    Dawn

  2. Lis says:

    What a great experience! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  3. Mom says:

    Bravo! Bravo for YOU! Applause! Applause! I was hoping the story had a happy ending and you didn’t get arrested. Ha! Ha!

  4. Daisy says:

    Awesome!!! Many of our farming friends went to the rally today and VICFA(VA chapter of NICFA), which our family is members of helped sponsor it. We hope to have our own raw milk cow graising our backyard soon.

  5. Theresa says:

    That is awesome and inspiring. I love the idea of peaceful political rallies. I think it’s so inspiring that you too your kids there and explained what was going on and why it was important. I am sure your kids came away feeling empowered, that they can make changes!

  6. Pingback: Raw Milk Rally « Balance Your Apple

  7. Dawn says:

    That is great. I was raised going to protests in Washington D.C. My parents also work at the National Gallery of Art. This post was like going down memory lane for me.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

  8. Pingback: This is Learning | Grassfed on The Hill

  9. Giggly Girls says:

    Awesome!!! What a fabulous learning experience.

  10. Kay says:

    wow you are brave!! we have only lived in the DC area and i just avoid any large crowd downtown 😉 my cousins have a dairy in iowa and we got our milk from them. i agree with the trusted dairy milk delivery, what a great experience!!!

  11. Sounds like a great afternoon! My parents used to take me to various political functions, rallies, state senate/house meetings, etc. I still remember the things I learned there. I’m sure your children will remember this for a long time!

  12. WildIris says:

    What a great post. You’re right, what a perfect day. This is what homeschooling should be.

  13. Julie H says:

    A great day indeed!

  14. Ritsumei says:

    That sounds like an awesome day! I’ve wished more than once that we lived close enough to DC to be able to go visit some of the stuff there on the National Mall. The protest, the cow, it all sounds very cool. I am supposed to have a copy of Nourishing Traditions, around here somewhere, but can’t find it, which is driving me a little crazy. How cool to be able to hear the author speak.

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