Of course, I had to remind him that my brother is actually the only one of us that's from Georgia. He merely lived in Kansas City for awhile. That was fine with Aiden. He just likes to choose things to be different. It was his project, so I let him choose.
I have come a long way from my days of perfectionism. I have realized, after having a few years of parenting under my belt, that it's better to let the kids do the projects and papers themselves. What I've discovered is that my kids don't always win the prizes at the Science Fairs or get the perfect grade I'd like to see...and that's okay. What's important is that they learn the process and gain some self-confidence along the way.
That's not to say, I don't oversee or make suggestions along the way, only that the work...all of it, is theirs. I'm now finding pride, not so much in perfection as in a job well done on their own.
Because I allowed Aiden to choose a state on his own and didn't push for the obvious, we both learned some new and interesting things. Who knew that the ice cream cone was invented there, along with iced tea?
I have to admit that the costume idea took a bit of prodding. He wanted to be some kind of athlete but to me that was a bit of a cop-out. Instead I encouraged him to do some research about famous people from Missouri. I tried for Mark Twain. How cute would he have been as Huck Finn? However, Jesse James' notoriety won him over.
I have to say that my favorite part of the entire project was standing on the back porch with him setting the edges of that sign on fire for a weathered effect. He thought that was very, very cool. It was a special moment of bonding for us and I thought that was even more cool than the flames.