It’s interesting the way a child’s mind works. So simple at times yet so complicated. Or maybe it’s because I’m an adult I think it’s complicated. I guess they do tend to be pretty basic. Anyway that’s not my point at all.
The other day my girlfriend sent me an article about Mercury being in retrograde and that it essentially makes people kind of crazy. I believe it. Usually I am the epitome of understanding and patience but lately when it comes to other children I’d like to punch them. Not all but some. I know it’s terrible of me to say but I’m being honest. Let me throw this disclaimer out there, I would never punch anyone, especially a child. And again, back to my point.
Something happened today while we were at a birthday party. I overheard a conversation between my daughter, Lily, and another little girl ( a bit older than Lily). She asked Lily if her family was grayish. I could tell by Lily’s lack of response that she had no idea what the little girl was talking about. My hubby heard and was a bit thrown by the whole exchange, I think. I quickly jumped in for a couple reasons. First, I knew she would continue down this path and I knew Lily wouldn’t quite catch on to the line of questioning. Second, I wanted to have the conversation with her and not let it be left hanging in the balance. Clearly she was having thoughts about our family but maybe wasn’t sure who to ask.
I asked her if I had heard correctly that she asked Lily if her family was “grayish.” She said yes and immediately started to shy away. I told her it was a legitimate question and she should not be embarrassed. I said, “Did you ask that because I’m black and David is white?” Of course her response was a big nod of the head.
I took a breath and figured out how to approach the subject swiftly and to the point. No need to make a big deal out of it. I decided to use paint. I asked her to take look at my skin and said to her, “Well it’s not really black is it?” She shook her head no and I pointed out that my skin color was actually brown. I asked her if you mix brown paint with white paint what color do you get. Of course her answer was gray 🙂 but I’m thinking she might have felt a bit put on the spot. I continued on that we actually wouldn’t get gray but a lighter version of the darker color and that’s what our family is. She got it…I think.
We are all different shades. We talk about being color blind and how we shouldn’t judge by ones skin color. But have we forgotten that when someone’s skin color isn’t the same as ours questions might arise? Maybe for most adults it’s not a big deal but we have to make sure for the young minds just learning the world we accept their questions with open hearts.
Oh and don’t worry I didn’t want to punch this beautiful mind with such a true question.