Years Ago…

…when #1 Son was a lad of 8 or 9, I was a first-year seminarian swapping childcare for #2 Son with a friend, Flower Girl, whose daughter, Cutie Pie, was in his preschool class. I would leave for school on Mondays and spend the night, and by the time #1 Son walked home from school on Tuesdays, I would be home again. (Sadly, I cannot remember where he went after school on Mondays. Home with a friend, I think. Wow, am I old.)

Flower Girl is married to High School Sweetheart, who happens to be African-American. They have two tall, beautiful daughters, Cutie Pie and her older sister, Tennis Star. But this was long ago and this was far away, and they were all little, little children. The girls were 6 and 4.

One week I knew I was going to be late coming home, and Flower Girl agreed to pick #1 Son up at elementary school. When I told him the plan, he said, "Does she have to pick me up?"

"Yes, honey."

"I wish she wouldn’t."

"Why not?"

"I don’t want anyone to see them picking me up."

(Can you see where I thought this might be going?)

"What do you mean?"

"Mom, they’re girls! I can’t go home with girls."

This story has become so much a part of our family lore that after reading my last entry,  #2 Son said, "Remember the time I said something like that about Cutie Pie?"

6 thoughts on “Years Ago…”

  1. Of course these stories just show what a weirdly over-sensitive person I am to potential racism, probably because I grew up in an environment (although not a household) that was deeply prejudiced.

  2. I would have reacted the same way, and my child would likely have been thinking the same thing yours was (except she wouldn’t want to go home with boys). Kids today seem to be almost colorblind. Progress come slowly, but it comes.

  3. This is the sort of thing that makes you feel really old and dated, doesn’t it? It’s true that kids today are much less conscious of differences than we were and alas sometimes are. I’ve had similar experiences.

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