Sunday, February 28, 2010

Intentionally Color-conscious

People notice color. Even young kids.

A couple weeks ago, we introduced Andrew and Jadon to some wonderful family friends with young children of their own. I remember as the kids played on the floor, their three-year-old looked right at Jadon and said, "You're brown." After identifiying all the colors of all the skin on little arms and legs, play continued joyfully.

On the playground at recess, Andrew and Ethan have had classmates at school inform them that they can't be brothers. Because they don't match.

Nanny, Gramps, and Auntie Jenn joined us for dinner the other night. As we finished up our meal, Ethan was working out the order of birthdays for everyone at the table. Jadon, who was sitting on Nanny's lap, must have overheard that Nanny was in line for a birthday. He leaned in and whispered into her ear, "For your birthday, you can ask for brown skin!"

As a multi-hued family, I am sure we will have many anecdotes--alternatively funny, sad, productive, and maddening--of people's responses to skin color. I did read this blog post recently and REALLY encourage you to read it, too, because it isn't hard to notice the differences around us...but sometimes we're not really sure what to do about it...or maybe it's simply that we haven't been intentional about it. For my family's sake...for your family's sake...take the time.

If you say, "Hey, that's none of my business," will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know—Someone not impressed with weak excuses. Psalm 24:12


Smith Family said...

Thanks for the link to the other blog post - I'm glad I read it...and learned from it.

Andrea said...

Tappers -

Martin stays with friends while Brian & I are at work. Once when their 5 year old daughter was introducing him to one of her friends, she said, "This is Martin. He's black." He laughed and didn't seem to care - because he is black. He knows it - we know it. It's life.

We've had our fair share of experiences. I should share mine. Thanks for the link.

Laura Fenske said...

Thanks for sharing the link, Kristy. She shared so many important truths. I love the reminder that being "color-blind" is not the answer and infact detrimental. And, to be intentional with our children about talking about and celebrating differences and uniqueness. The other important reminder for me was to not be blind to the insenstivity our children our capable of, and the part we have played in creating that insensivity. My hope and prayer would be that I could pause, be humble, and react in a healthy and loving way if my child was the one behaving hurtfully, rather than just reacting defensively.