This morning I went to an awards ceremony at the elementary school my oldest two kids attend. I looked out, over a delicious sea of beautiful little people; every child in grades 2-4 sitting cross-legged on the floor waiting to hear their names called. Long golden locks flowed next to the springy curls of an Afro-puff. A brown arm tightened around the white shoulders of a "bff". This is the way of my children's world.
I am used to seeing my children with all sorts of other kids. I take it for granted and forget to appreciate that it hasn't always been like this in our country. I ponder the tragedy of that and wonder how much richer the lives of our parents and grandparents could have been if given the opportunity to love whomever they pleased.
Yes, I do mean opportunity. Parents, teachers and other influences in a child's life, choose to give that child the gifts of love and repspect for all persons equally or to deny that same gift. No children are born with an understanding of hate. I believe in "race" only as a western social construction. Although I deny its existence as reality, I cannot deny its heavy effect on our world.
Sometimes though, a certain preciousness shines though the haze our society has created, illuminating truth the way it's meant to be seen. Here's an example. At said awards ceremony, I kept a watchful eye on my eighteen month old as she ran from stranger to stranger, looking them over, patting their legs or tugging their skirts to say hello. Eventually, she found a little girl of around two standing by her mother.
The girl's mother, dressed in black with full hijab, was presumably a conservative Muslim. She smiled at me politely and we watched as our toddlers stood facing each other. Each child took a step forward. The Muslim girl reached out a small hand and placed it on my daughter's shoulder. Then she touched her hair. My baby gently touched the girls hand, rubbed her belly, then laid a tiny hand on the girl's chest over her heart.
Neither of the two were smiling or laughing. They were standing six inches apart, each staring into the eyes of the other. After these preliminary touches, they hugged. Then they laughed and started to play. I can't describe the intense beauty of such a scene, only the way it happened. My hope is that you, the reader will ponder it the same way that I have and remember to encourage only love in the hearts of your own innocent children.
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