When I sat down to write yesterday morning, it was really just for my friend that had inspired the whole thing. I never thought that so many people would read or be affected by what I was saying. It was extremely moving, and it melted my heart to see how happy he was to be getting so much support from so many people who don't even know him.
The other really, REALLY amazing thing that came out of Pride from yesterday was how my 10 year-old daughter reacted.
Let me show you how remarkable children really are.
I decided to let my daughter read what I wrote for two reasons; One: she is 10 years old and there was nothing in the article that I felt was inappropriate or that she wouldn't be able to understand/shouldn't know at this point in her life. Two: a lot of what I wrote was about her.
We were sitting in the car in the parking lot at Dunkin' Donuts eating lunch and killing time while we had an open house going on when I told her that I had something I thought she should read on my website. She was ecstatic, because I have never, EVER let her read my blog before as it is not really geared towards young children....
She sat in the backseat reading silently for about 5 minutes, only pausing to ask for my help when she came across a word she wasn't familiar with. She did, however, stop one time because she was confused by this:
" He has to see it on TV, hear about it on the radio....read about it on his social media accounts. He has people say it to his face when he walks down the street."
She looked up at me, puzzled, and said, "I don't understand this part, Mommy. What does he have to see on TV and hear on the radio?" I explained it to her plainly and simply, "He has to hear about people not wanting him around, just because he is the way he is." Her face fell a little and she looked me dead in the eye as she stated, "That's so sad. He can't help the way he is."
And then she continued to read.
When she got to the end, she sat back in her seat and looked out the window with a somber expression on her face. She didn't say much for about 30 seconds, and I began to wonder if I had made the right decision in allowing her to read it.....and then she spoke.
"It's not fair that people don't like him just because of who he is. I love him. Wait.....(*Picture Gru saying "LIGHTBULB!" here.)....MOM! It's just like Ruby Bridges!"
Ruby Bridges was the first African-American to integrate an all-white southern elementary school. My daughter's class has been learning about her, and about racism over the past few weeks. The story of Ruby Bridges has been greatly upsetting to my daughter and she has struggled to understand how people could be so mean to a child just because of the color of her skin. Her brain just can't wrap it's head around that concept.
I am ecstatic that the idea of judging anybody by any part of themselves other than their soul is hard to swallow for my kid. And I am SO PROUD of her for making a connection between this and racism.
Holy crap. Kids freaking blow my mind sometimes.
I hope everyone else's weeks are starting out with so many happies.