Archive | August, 2013

Kids and color.

28 Aug

BiRacialHands

Every parenting book that I have ever read talks about pointing out details to toddlers during everyday event.

What color are the leaves?

Can you see that there are so many petals on the flower?

Look how big that house is?

As I do with many things in life I tend to take the first part and run with it.  So, my kids have gotten a lot of “What color is XYZ?”  in their days.

Last night on our Wagon Walk while Gia and Ralph were at soccer practice things were no different.

“Luke, What color is the tractor?”

“Blue.”

“What color is the dump truck?”

“Red.”

“Duke, what color are your shoes?”

“YELLOW!!!!  My favorite.”

And then, I remembered Gia telling me one day that I was purple when she was Luke’s age.  I had on a long sleeve purple shirt.  I had also been partaking in a fair amount of NPR commentary on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”  speech.

Gia and a red furry guy

So I asked my tri racial (Hispanic, Caucasian- mutt, Japanese) two year old-

“Luke, what color are you?”

With great parenting and societal pride, my boy looked at me like I was crazy.  As if all people are the same.  People aren’t colors.  Things are colors.  Instead of leaving that perfect moment alone (as I should have.  I only realize that now as I am writing this) I prodded once more-

“Luke, what color is your skin?”

Still perplexed (but ever the pleaser) he looked down and said,

“Black?….no silver, silver.  No black?  I don’t know mommy.”

And all I could say is, “No sweet boy.  You are gold.  Just like your heart.  We are all full of gold and it shines through.”

No child is born thinking people are a color.  We create that.  It is our job to look for the gold on the inside in lieu of placing a judgement for anything that we see on the outside.

Duke and Brownie

Thank you for the changes that you have made America.  I am well aware there are still grave injustices in the world but I think that one person at a time, one heart at a time we can all judge not”… by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I am proud to see first hand evidence that we are contributing to this dream Dr. Martin Luther King.

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And just like that, the paci was gone.

20 Aug

For a boy who loved his paci so, its departure was somewhat anti climatic.

August 20, 2013 will go down in the history books for Luke. At 2 years 7 months 2 days (or 81561600 seconds) old he gave up his beloved pacifier.

For months, when at school he only had his paci at nap time. And for a few months, we kept telling him that if he gave his paci’s to Uncle Eddie he would get a bike. Then, we went on our ten day vacation and Luke fell asleep twice with out his pacifier. So we went with it.

We just stopped giving it to him. Told him we couldn’t find one. Didn’t have one. Etc. This is exactly how Gia (much less attached) gave up her paci and bottle.

When we returned home and Uncle Eddie was over for dinner- we gave them to him. I had big plans of becoming a YouTube sensation.  A chiminea, tears, a new bike unveiling.  None of that happened.  He had not had a paci for close to twelve days at that point- we were on a roll.  I didn’t have a bike (still don’t) but thought we should make it happen.

To be frank, I am not sure that I was ready. Not because I wanted him to still have his paci. Believe me, the orthodontic bills are already giving me nightmares. But it is a very real illustration that my baby is growing up. Getting bigger. More self reliant.

I melted on a puddle in the floor when we moved from California to Texas and all that was left in our bedroom were a pile of paci’s, newspapers and dust bunnies.

How_To_Get_Your_Two_Year_Old_to_give_up_the_Pacifier

That is the last picture I have of Luke with his pac. It was pretty painless. I guess slow and steady is the best way to get rid of a pacifier. It was a six month (and two year) journey (love affair) and now we have to find a bike for this sweet boy.