Eli brought home a paper at the end of last week to do a research project.
First let me just say that I felt old doing this project with him. The instructions were to look in a book or get parent permission to go online.
When I was in school – I’m talking all the way through my undergrad here – we went to the library. We checked out the most current version of the World Book Encyclopedia because, let’s face it, we only had a version at home that was dated somewhere in the 1970’s. You know your parents bought them too. I flash to the Friends episode when the sales rep was trying to sell Joey a set and he could only afford one book so he bought the letter V.
Anyway, reality check in how research is done now. Wikipedia. That’s what it’s all about.
Eli’s homework was to pick a country from the list, draw an outline of the country with a star where the capital would be. Draw and color the flag. Write several facts about the country.
He chose China. He did an amazing job drawing the outline just copying from the picture on the computer. He colored the flag with near perfection. Then we browsed the facts.
The tallest mountain is in China.
Pandas live in China.
Then we looked further down the page. The was an entire section on the number of adoptions out of China. Boys are valued because they are needed for factories and hard labor. Families are only allowed one child to control the population surplus. Families will give up their girls to try for a boy.
And his face became perplexed. I could see the gears turning in his little mind. What do you mean they give away their girl babies? I tried my best to explain what orphanages are and share that the children then don’t have any parents and their hope is that a nice family will adopt them and bring them home. So their parents give them away just cuz their not boys? Sadly, yes. Wait… so who has the babies? The women do. Won’t they run out of girls to have babies?
Yes, that’s how he thinks. He gets it. At 7 years old he gets it. And he was saddened and disturbed by the concept of giving away your baby because it’s the wrong sex. He hugged me and thanked me for not giving him away because he’s a boy.
And then he wrote on his report…
In China girl are not important.