Kids and color.

28 Aug


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?”


“What color is the dump truck?”


“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.

One Response to “Kids and color.”

  1. happykatie September 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    I LOVE this – my daughter (half white / half Hispanic) had similar momentary color confusion. Her final verdict? She created a new color for herself: ‘summer gold’ and I am ‘paper white’ < hello Irish blood.

    But beyond that conversation, it's NEVER been a thought for her – regardless of what her friends look like or who we meet. And that makes me exceedingly happy.

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