Friday, October 15, 2010

Project 365: Day 76 - Harsh Truths....

The honesty and innocence of children amaze me. Their words ring true without a hint of hesitation. For hesitation is only something we learn as we get older and we realize that sometimes truths are not as gentle as we hope them to be. So we have to tread lightly when speaking words of pure honesty because we know those honest words may be falling on sensitive ears.

I know that most mothers can relate to the random, and often all too loud, "mama, why is her face so bumpy" or "her pants look like an elephant." My own first personal experience came from my younger brother. 12 years my junior, when I was in high school he was barely out of the toddler years. These seem to be the pinnacle years when such "slips" of honesty occur. We were at the hair salon and he loudly exclaimed, "Your hair is white on top and black in the middle!" If you couldn't guess, he was referring to my dark roots.......and he made sure the entire salon knew it. Mortified teenage I instantly became.

So far I have been lucky that my kids have not embarrassed me to the point of full on retreat. Actually the only incident that comes to mind happened in the waiting room at the pediatric dentist and there was this nice looking gentleman sitting across from me and Peanut. And for whatever reason, my Peanut lifted his hand, pointed his tiny finger at said nice gentleman and he yelled "Look mama. He is black!" Now, calling a black person black is not anything a person should be worried about. My children have black friends and discussing the differences between the races was not a discussion we have ever had, because I didn't think it was necessary.

So Peanut exclaiming this truth loud and proud shouldn't have prompted anything from me. But my foot was determined to enter my mouth whether I wanted it to or not. As I gently pulled Peanut's hand down from his solid pointing gesture, I gently said "yes honey, some people are black and some people are white. There are people of all colors in the world and....." He abruptly cut me off and replied "No mama, the doggy is black." There was a picture above gracious black man's head of......... well...... yes...... a black dog.

Hmmmm. Yeah, nothing to say there.

76 of 365: Peanut, maybe your hand should have been over mama's mouth.

Good Night All!