Whenever we go places, I like to help Michaela get into the spirit of things by getting books that describe the culture or history or *something* of the place we’re going, or by doing things to help us understand the culture. When we went to Greece, we started reading Greek myths. For our Panama Canal cruise, we practiced our Spanish. In preparation for our trip to Japan, I bought “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleano Coerr.
Did you ever read that when you were a kid?
It’s the story of a girl who died from leukemia after being exposed to radiation in the US bombing of Hiroshima. She hoped that making 1,000 paper cranes would lead to a miracle recovery; unfortunately, that didn’t happen and she died at the age of 12.
The book is for children age 8 and up, but I knew Michaela could handle it. We read its nine chapters over two nights, with me reading aloud and her following along. It’s a sad book – this poor girl is slowly sapped of her energy and vigor, her family struggles with the impending loss, and it is symbolic of all the horror and waste of war – so I cried in parts as I read it.
Michaela, though? Totally fine.
Michaela: “Mom, why are you crying?”
Me: “Because it’s sad.”
Michaela: “Yeah, okay. Stop crying.”
She totally understood the book and what was going on. She just was perturbed by my emotional state. #SoWeird