Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hair Color and Stuff

Today we were driving to church and Luke started saying things about each of us that match. Mommy and Luke both have blue eyes. Daddy and Mommy both have dark hair. Etc., etc... Then he said, "Me and Owen both have bright hair (By which he meant light hair. He always says 'bright' in place of 'light' when discussing color) and Mommy has dark hair. If Mommy had bright hair, she would be a boy too." Haha... I love kids' logic. So of course I reminded him that Daddy has dark hair too and he is a boy and that things like the color of your eyes or hair don't make you a boy or a girl. And we started talking about other ways we are alike and different.

Of course, I took the opportunity to talk about ways other people are like us or different from us, but how we are all people and God made everyone and loves us all the same. Some of us have light skin and some have dark. Some of us are tall and some are short. He named off some people we know who have darker skin than ours and I responded "Yep. There are lots of ways we are different, but because we are all people, we have a lot of things alike no matter how different we look. We treat everybody the same, right?" He nodded in agreement and then went on talking about something else.

But I actually teared up thinking about our exchange. Something about knowing that I needed to purpose to remind my kids of this over and over, and the thought that there are people out there who tell their kids the opposite, really bothered me. Maybe it's because we just passed the eighth anniversary of 9/11 or maybe it's just because I'm tired and allergy head which makes me more emotional, but I do worry about the world my kids are growing up in. I worry that I am trying so hard to teach them to be accepting and tolerant of differences and to be good members of society and to help others who need help, but that some of those things might get them bullied or ostracized or worse. I worry about all the people they will encounter who do not value any of those things. I hate that the time is coming when they will experience bigotry or prejudice or hate..... directed at them or not.

I guess all I can do is continue to teach them about the importance of acceptance and tolerance and helping when they can. And hope that there are enough other people out there who also value those things so they won't be alone.
One day our descendants will think it incredible
that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.
-Franklin Thomas

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this, Trischa. I love hearing how parents interact with their kids...this little snapshot into your guys' daily life. :) Your honest and caring response to your boys' meanderings is refreshing. Praying they follow in your steps in the face of this world, seeking what is good and godly.