Last night Twelve and I were sitting in the living room, illuminated only by the glow of our respective laptops. Which, of course, is the perfect time to share a heartfelt conversation.
Twelve: So what are you doing tomorrow?
Me: oh, I have to work. I don’t get the day off. So I’m going in to the office.
Twelve: what?! that sucks! it’s a HOLIDAY!
Me: yeah, it sucks that I’m going to miss time with you and Eight and your Dad, but you know, it’s not really an important holiday.
Twelve: of course it is! Columbus FOUNDED AMERICA!
Me: [boggling. playing it cool.] What? no he didn’t! he wasn’t even an American! he was some Italian guy! And there were people here already! And he wasn’t a founding father!
Twelve: he TOTALLY founded America.
Me: Ok, ok – when did Columbus “discover” America?
Twelve: um, I don’t know. 1900-something?
Me: [oh crap] 1492. Ok, so when was America founded?
Twelve: [starting to check out, because CLEARLY he should have known this.] I don’t know.
Twelve: [sticking to guns!] but he totally founded America.
Me: Dude. That was almost 300 years later. And we fought the English, not the Italians or the Spanish!
Me: Look, he didn’t even NAME America! it was named after Amerigo Vespuchi! [secret furious googling] And that was by a GERMAN DUDE, who made maps, and just wrote it on there! In the 1500s! AFTER 1492!
Twelve: whatever! He founded America!
Me: Dude, do you know what Columbus did when he got here? he gave the Native Americans, who, you know, were here already – he gave them these blankets that were full of small pox germs and then THEY ALL DIED. [gross simplification designed wake up the checking-out Twelve.] He wasn’t even into democracy, he was a crazy genocidal authoritarian maniac!
Yeah, whatever, Twelve. My boy, Columbus may have founded ‘MURRIKA. but definitely not America.
(Also, I am pretty sure I need to spend more time with Twelve talking about history. OH GRACIOUS LORDY ME.)