Crossing Stones, by Helen Frost, is a historical fiction novel that follows the lives of two families for nine months during World War I. The Jorgensens and the Normans live in a rural community named Crabapple Creek. Between the two families, they have five children all under the age of 18.
The story is told through the eyes of the children in a poetry format that I found cumbersome to follow.
Two of the sons, one from each family, enlist in the service. One boy dies in battle, and the other loses an arm...returning home disillusioned and haunted by the experiences he had in Europe.
I don’t need any fictional sadness in my life right now. I have the real deal going on as I continue to work through the grief of my father's death.
But this book was not a total waste of time. The author included a storyline of a teenage girl traveling to Washington D.C to visit her aunt. While there, the girl becomes involved in the women’s suffrage movement.
How did I live this long and not know women were publicly harassed and harshly thrown in jail as they picketed the White House for the right to vote? It was incredibly eye opening for me.
On January 10, 1918 the House of Representatives passed the 19th Amendment. The Amendment was signed into law, granting women the right to vote, on August 26, 1920.
American women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years. It’s most definitely something we should not take for granted.
Along those same lines…
Last week my 10 year-old asked me about the Martin Luther King Jr Day holiday.
She asked, “Is Martin Luther King the man who helped the black people?”
I took a couple of minutes to explain Dr. King fought for the civil liberties of all minorities, including women. I want my girls to understand they are fortunate to live in a time and place that treats women and girls fairly.
Wednesday evening I was talking to the girls about their day at school. Lauren said her teacher talked to the students about MLK Day and how he helped black people.
Lauren raised her hand and told the entire class Dr. King also helped women have more rights.
A big smile crossed my face and I asked her, “And what did your teacher say?”
“My teacher said ‘That’s right Lauren.’”
(Proud mommy moment!)
I'm grateful to the women and men who have paved the way for the privileges and opportunties I have not only for myself, but also for my daughters.