One thing I love about my kids not being in many activities at this age is that it’s almost 100% sure that each night we’ll eat dinner together. There may be times when Aaron’s gone, or I’m gone, but for the most part it’s the 6 of us around the table each night. I try to get my kids to talk about their day, so I can get a feel for what life is like at school. Unfortunately my kids that are in school are boys so I don’t get much out of them.
We play the “high-low” game that I’m sure lots of you play around your dinner table at night. I love this game, but my kids are so young that usually we get the same answers out of all of them. Their high’s are usually recces and their lows are usually that a kid didn’t play with them or something. Lately Deacon has been telling me about this little girl in his class that doesn’t like Amos. Amos had brought this up as his low many times. Their classes overlap at the playground, so a high for Amos and Deacon is usually that they get to play together and their low is then when one class has to leave the playground. So cute, right?
Amos has been telling me that this little girl tells him that she doesn’t like him. The first time I heard this I wanted to beat the crap out of this little girl. I mean how could you not like Amos. He’s basically the sweetest kid in the world and believe me if a 5 year old wanted to boss him around and tell him what to do they could. He’s a follower for sure. What’s not to like? But, I let it go. Remember there are usually two sides to each story. We talked to him about liking her even if she says mean stuff. Being nice to her even if she’s not nice to him, and even talking to the teacher if she was super mean.
Deacon has also brought this girl up saying that she says she doesn’t like Amos. Last week he mentioned it and Aaron and I then asked Deacon what he said to her after she said that about his brother. He shrugged and said that he said nothing. I wanted to tell him to punch her in the face, but I refrained. We then discussed how we are a team, and that this team sticks together. We talked about how if someone is talking bad about someone on Team Ivey then we are to stick up for them. That doesn’t mean we get to be mean to that person, but we tell them to stop talking about our brother and that we don’t like it.
Okay, so fast forward to today at dinner time when Deacon tells me that his low today was when this same little girl said that she doesn’t like Amos because he’s black and ugly. OH NO SHE DIDN’T. My heart jumped and I held in what I wanted to say and went into a discussion about how we like everyone no matter what their color is. We talked about how God chose each of our colors and how he made us perfect in his image. I told them that what she said was very mean and not something that should determine if you like someone or not.
Inside my heart was breaking. This was a racist comment to my sweet Amos who already struggles with fitting in and being different and now she was saying this. Oh I wanted to march right over to her parents house and have her tell them what she said, and then have her say this to my sweet Amos with me standing right there. Y’all I was boiling on the inside. Boiling for two reasons. #1 kids don’t come up with this stuff on their own. This little 5 year old girl has heard this before. She has heard either directly or indirectly that black skin is ugly and she then said it out loud to my son. #2 I was boiling because my son is 5 and we are in the year 2011 and this crap is still being dealt with. Seriously?
I finished dinner with the kids, got them on the couch ready for me to read and marched into my room and emailed both teachers. I didn’t email them to tattle tell on the little girl for being mean, but I emailed them so that they could be aware that this was happening in their classroom. This stuff is going on out of their ears and eyes, so if I don’t tell them then they don’t know. What I pray for the most is two fold. #1 that my son would grow into a strong, black man that knows that he is the son of a mighty God that created him just how he was supposed to be, and #2 that parents would change their words around their kids. If you feel this way, #1 I feel sorry for you, and #2 don’t talk like that in front of your kids. You are shaping their minds. They hear this and think it’s truth, and I’m sorry my friends but believing that any color of a person is better than the other is a LIE.
You know what’s funny about this whole thing? We don’t live in an all white neighborhood where Amos might feel like an outsider. Nope, Aaron, Cayden and I are the minority in our neighborhood. Cayden was the only white kid in his class last year. Our school is majority hispanic, then black, and then a very small percentage white. This is not just a black vs white thing. Y’all this is everyone. Everyone thinking they are better. Everyone thinking their color is greater than the other.
In the book I’m reading SALVATION BELONGS TO THE LORD by John M. Frame he states it best when he says this: The image of God belongs to every child of Adam, every human being. The bible will not permit us to divide the human race into some who bear God’s image and some who don’t. The image of God belongs to all races, all nationalities; it belongs to rich and poor, make and female, bond and free; it belongs to those who are disabled, even those so disabled that they cannot care for themselves; and it belongs to the unborn and those near death. Scripture never excludes anyone from the dignity that goes with being in the image of God, and we may not exclude them either. Each human being is wonderfully precious in God’s sight. That fact has enormous implications for the way we treat other people (Gen. 9:6; James 3:9-10).