February 27, 2013

Changing Generations

by Norman Rockwell depicting Bridges as she goes to school
Last week, my six-year-old daughter said she wanted to be an African-American mermaid. It was a little funny, she just announced it as if it was the most normal thing in the world but I also felt pride that I have taught her well.

You see, I have worked long and hard to shelter my daughter from bigotry. I want her to be part of a better generation where people are just people and although she is aware of what it is, it doesn't really exist in her world. This is how it should be, in a perfect world of course.

Yesterday, she brought home two books from the school library, Black Heroes and Ruby Bridges. Since Black History is in February, I know they have talked about it at school. She was so proud of finding those two books in that little library at her school. We saw a display about Ruby Bridges, Ryan White, and Anne Frank at the Indianapolis Children's Museum this past summer. It is a wonderful museum to take your children.

The bottom line is we should always try to teach our children to be better than we are. It's not easy, believe me. But if we get 80% of it right, I think we are doing pretty well. A large part of this starts at home with what we say and to explain right from wrong, not just to tell them. Last Thursday, I took my daughter to her Hip Hop dance lesson (she loves Lady Gaga and it's hilarious to see little girls dance this way) and these two boys got on the elevator saying F this and F that. Pretty much every other word. They were about eight and ten-years-old. All of the mothers looked at each other. So it starts at home, first. Bottom line.

So my daughter announced yesterday she no longer wants to be an African-American mermaid but a werewolf African-American mermaid. Is that even possible?? I told her she can be anything she wants to be in life, so long as she loves doing it. Every child, whether they are black or white, an American citizen or here illegally, rich or on food stamps should have the hope they can be anything they want to be in life. As adults, we may figure out it's not so easy, but as children, their dreams should be limitless.


justanothergirl said...

children are so naive. beautiful

justanothergirl said...

beautiful. children are so naive :)