Dancing on Betsy Ross’ Grave

posted in: Acceptance, Kids, Parenting | 23

What a strange title for a blog post you say? Perhaps I am about to launch into a commentary on civil liberties in our country. Or possibly I am researching unusual burial rituals throughout history. Maybe it is just a clever ploy to attract readers.

Or maybe on our Spring Break trip to Philadelphia last week, my son did just that: danced on Betsy Ross’ grave. Aside from being utterly embarrassed and a little afraid he may have committed a federal offense, what else can I do but blog about it?

So, yes. While perusing the grounds outside of Betsy Ross’ Philadelphia home, reading various plaques extolling her act of bravery in facing charges of treason by creating the very first flag of our grand country and bearing the heartache of losing not one, not two, but three husbands, I look up to find my son has climbed up onto the little wall protecting the sacred ground and is hopping around on the cement marker of her final resting place.

I would say I was horrified, but that would be a lie. In order to be horrified, there must be some element of surprise. No surprise here, as unfortunate as that is to say. There was a split second I thought about slowly backing away and saying to no one in particular, “Where are that boy’s parents?” But then I quickly faced the truth that I must own him…and it would have been pretty crummy of me to let my husband take all the judgmental stares boring into him alone.

Sigh. Nobody knows the woes of the mother of a three-year-old boy…except for another mother of a three-year-old boy. Like I said, there was not one hint of surprise at the sight of my son doing a jig on the burial ground of a beloved historical figure. Because frankly, the boy is a destructor of just about anything, sanity included. The number of near catastrophes that would have landed us on the news as “the family who destroyed the [fill in the blank with your choice of historical Philadelphia buildings]” caused me to wonder how history ever survived thousands of years of three-year-old boys. I wouldn’t be surprised if the REAL culprit of the Liberty Bell crack was a small grubby-handed child of the male persuasion.

****BREAKING NEWS**** Right now, as if on cue, my husband just yelled down to me and asked if I was still working on “The Michael Blog.” Because apparently the kid just rinsed off his toothpaste-sudsy toothbrush in the hubby’s iced tea. Now, back to our program…

I know, as a reader, you will be disappointed to find I do not have a photo of my son dancing on Betsy Ross’ grave. For once I did the responsible thing and stopped my child from doing something outlandish instead of prolonging it so I could get a good picture…which I may have been known to do in the past.

So here are some of those other pictures (which also serve to illustrate why the above incident was not surprising in the least):

And then there’s the poop story. No one wants to see pictures of that.

There it is. My son, in a nutshell. It’s a good thing he is cute. Hopefully Betsy Ross thought so too and decided NOT to come back and do some vengeful haunting.

23 Responses

  1. Oh, how you make me smile! As the mother of a four-year-old son (which is the smarter, craftier version of their 3 year-old counterparts), I can picture my lil’ Thomas in similar acts of boyhood. SIGH. Rest assured…you are in good company…we are the mothers who grin at your playful misfortune, then say a little prayer of thanks that we are not in your shoes…this time. :)

  2. Anne Blind

    It sort of goes with the name… Granny tried to warn me too. Bt those Michael’s can be just as sweet as they are “bad” And when they grow up – they love their mother’s. If you make it that long!

    • I know…and you warned me. Oh well. And yes, they can be awfully sweet as well. He is definitely my little cuddle bug and a momma’s boy through and through.

  3. I’m thrilled to know what I’m up against in the coming years, Kelly. Many laughs, many sighs, and a chronic loss of sanity. Thanks for being the forerunner. God certainly made him SUPER-cute for a reason : )

    • Baton down the hatches Maggie!! Thankfully your little guy got lucky on the cuteness factor as well. It’s the only thing that saves them.

  4. In all honesty, I feel support groups should exisit for mothers of two- to three- year-old boys (probably four-year-olds too, but I can’t bear to think about this continuing for two whole years right now). I have several blog posts on the subject as well (http://www.calabasa.blogspot.com/2011/12/merry-christmas.html). I find it helpful to know that I’m not alone in this battle.

  5. Thanks goodness we keep a sense of humor!

  6. Kurtis Suellentrop

    That is such a great story- I am crying…because it is so funny…tears of joy?…I think?!

  7. Mark Townsend

    Don’t worry It is a fake grave, She is buried in Mt. Moriah Cemetery. A bone and a piece of wood were buried at the Betsy Ross house for the bicentennial.

    • I thought it might be (and was hoping it was), so I did a little research. What I found was that they did want to move her body to the house for the bicentennial. However, when they went to exhume the body from Mt. Moriah, they couldn’t find any remains. They found some bones elsewhere on the family burial plot and somehow decided they were hers and moved those to the plot at the Betsy Ross house. So one of two things occurred: whatever few remains there were of Betsy are now in the said grave on which my son danced, OR he had a little party on the remains of one of her relatives. Either way, I don’t think she’d be happy! Thanks for trying to make me feel better though!!!

  8. Mark townsend

    A bone and a piece of wood, what I read at the time, is what was put in the casket. Your son’s disrespect, I believe, does not compare to that of the people moving bones around.

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