Thursday, February 23, 2012
The Perils of Learning History
Ash Wednesday only comes once a year, so yesterday before we went up to get ashes I explained to the kids what to expect to prevent any surprises at church. D-boy isn't the biggest fan of having to go to church when it's not the weekend, so I wasn't surprised when he looked a bit hesitant. What took me aback was when he asked, "But don't the ashes give you a disease?'. I must have looked puzzled because M-girl explained, "He's thinking about the song about rosies.".
At last, light began to dawn. K-boy once, in a study of Tudor history, revealed the fact that the children's song 'Ring Around the Rosie', has rather grisly roots. The verses are referring to the appearance of plague victims right before they succumbed to the disease. No wonder poor D-boy was worried, "Ashes, ashes, we all fall down", is quite enough to scare a discerning five-year-old!
After I reminded him that I am a total safety mom, and would never take him to get a disease on his head, he was fine. We went up to the church and he ran around happily with his ashes on his forehead for the rest of the day.