This is what my 5 year old came home from pre-k announcing to everyone. He loves him a good holiday. And I love that he paid attention at school today! He was told me that it was MLK’s dream that we would all be kind to each other and love each other the same no matter who we are. I was very impressed that they got that concept through to him today! And, he sang an adorable little song to me about him as well. I asked him if he understood why Dr. Martin Luther King was trying to get people to be kind to one another. He tried to explain that it was because the people were all different.
I spent a few minutes trying to explain the civil rights movement to him and how people with white skin used to treat people with brown skin very badly. I tried briefly to explain that African Americans were slaves to white people and how horrible that was. He was befuddled by all of it. Honestly. I wish you could have seen his face. First he said, “But mom, all of us have brown skin! Mine is really light and Quinn’s is darker and Dr. Martin Luther King’s was darker.”
So, his first newsflash of the day was that he is white (technically I guess, or of that category).
So I used some examples to help him understand. I asked, “How do you think it would make Quinn feel if you treated him badly because his skin is darker brown than yours? What about Mrs. Nadeau? What if mommy was mean to her because she has dark brown skin?” Blake just looked at me in the rearview mirror like I had 3 heads. Seriously. And he said, “Well, that’s just not how we ‘ll do anything. We’ll look at how people are on the inside.” Just when I almost shed a tear from pride, he followed that up by saying, “Our skeletons are all the same.” HA! OK, skeletons, hearts, we’re almost there. So, I explained that things used to be very, very bad and MLK was working very hard to make sure that everyone got treated kindly and equally no matter how they looked. I also told him that there is someone else who cares even more that we love one another very much. I asked him if he remembered who that was. Oh yes. This kid has been paying attention in Sunday school. He knew that even more that MLK, our Heavenly Father actually commands us to love one another. There are no exceptions made. God is the maker of these beautiful skin tones, therefore he MUST care very much that we treat them all as beautiful creations.
I think it’s no coincidece that B and I had been reading out of 1 Samuel recently and he remembered this verse (he remembered it because I underlined it in my Bible-he thinks that it is amazing that I’m allowed to write in my Bible!):
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
We’ve wondered if we need to discuss transracial adoption with him (the fact that we have listed “no preference” means that we don’t know what ethnicity our baby could be). I don’t think B is going to give a flying flip for a very long time.
I’m so happy about his innocence. I want stick him in a bottle an hang on to it forever.