My son said the strangest thing to me en route to daycare yesterday, and I was so caught off guard that I almost pulled the car over to allay my own confusion.
He said, "Mommy, I'm peach."
He was referring to the color of his skin because he uses the peach crayon for his face and body (also known as circles 1 and 2).
I said, "Yes."
He replied, "I want to be brown."
Curious, I asked, "Vincent, why do you want to be brown?"
He replied, "All of my friends are brown."
I said, "Vincent, is your heart good?"
"Do your friends have good hearts, too?"
"Yes, Mommy. They are very, very nice."
"So it doesn't matter what their color is. It doesn't matter what color you are. What matters is how you treat people. If your heart is good, YOU are good, okay?"
He seemed content with that, but I was so caught off guard! I honestly didn't think a thing about skin color until I was closing in on 8th grade. I was a minority in my elementary school, and that fact never actually dawned on me until someone from high school brought it to my attention when he looked at my graduation picture. He said, "You only had 5 white kids in the whole class?"
Looking back, I remember feeling instantly defensive and incredibly stupid. It had NEVER occurred to me that I was a minority until he pointed it out, and I felt stupid for never making that connection. Then I felt doubly stupid for thinking my color-blindness was something to be ashamed of.
It makes me sad that Vincent is already aware of color. Granted, he obviously doesn't think about it negatively, but the fact that such a thing is on his radar at all surprises me. I asked his teacher if they did a lesson on differences or something, but she was just as surprised as I was.
His class is a good mix of kids, and I like that. I grew up in a diverse community and I want the same for Vincent. He's got friends of both genders, of several ethnic backgrounds, and doesn't care if you collect Star Wars or Star Trek memorabilia. He loves everyone regardless, and I love that. I'd love to know what spurred that comment, though. I really would.
Ah well. At least he seems satiated for the time being. Dunno what I'll say if it comes up again, though.
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