After a rainy day yesterday, the boys and I headed out first this this morning to a historic local plantation, Brattonsville. We had intended to meet up with some friends, but at the last minute they had to back out. Nonetheless, we spent a good three hours wandering around and enjoyed seeing and touching lots of old things.
The boys were, of course, fascinated with the farm animals. Grady tried his hardest to run after and catch chickens, but to no avail. Micah hugged the life out of a sweet cat that may very well decide it doesn't like kids after today.
We wandered gardens and the boys took turns guessing what the vegetables were. They found it really interesting that a long time ago families had to grow their own food at home and couldn't just hop in the car and buy food at Harris Teeter.
We toured the different slave homes, sheds, barns, and plantation owner homes. I would have taken triple the time we took if I were alone... to read the materials and take time to appreciate that, oh by the way, we were standing in homes that are over two hundred years old! But, toddlers aren't fond of ooing and ahhing over antiques, and they found it a lot more fun to run up and down steps and climb on benches. Whatever.
Here's a fun fact. Remember the movie "The Patriot" with Mel Gibson? It was filmed at this plantation. Since we were some of the few guests there this morning, a volunteer let Grady Lee sneak past the rope and hide under the dining room table - just like the little boy in the movie did when the soldiers invaded his home looking for his family. But, my oh-so-shy toddler didn't really want to go under the table and pretend he was scared. So, he sat next to the table and really was scared because he didn't understand what I was asking him to do.
We enjoyed a tour of the old cotton gin and got a one-on-one brick-making lesson. Micah just wanted to play with the clay and kept saying, "I do now! I do now!" This sweet lady, Miss Cassie, was the kindest and most informative volunteer ever. She took a liking to the boys and while we were off exploring, she made some "toys" like what the slave children would have played with. Grady Lee's response was, "They didn't play with cars and trucks?"
We had a great day out, and, when my boys hit elementary age we're heading back for an all-day adventure and they will enjoy touring the homes and seeing the antiques. I know they will. Because I said so.