If you missed my earlier post on Inauguration Day, you might want to read that first.
So, there are five really loud hooligans running around my house right now. They’re playing the 21st century version of hide-and-seek. Gabe hides with his iPhone. He types in words and phrases, and his iMac (on his desk) speaks to the kids.”Look upstairs.” “Not in there.” “My bedroom.” They’re running around and squealing. “Garage.” “Look outside.” “You’re getting closer.” Right now, he’s behind the TV stand. No one can find him. “In trash can.” “You guys are not good finders.”
“AAAAHHH! He’s behind the TV!!!!” Livi found him. That was fun.
So, I was talking a lot about skin color earlier, and I forgot to tell about my Inauguration Picnic with Nina. We ate our lunch on the living room floor and watched the festivities. Nina’s always saying, “Look at that black guy.” “Who’s that black girl?” But what she means is, the guy with black hair. Or the girl wearing a black shirt. Because she also talks about the orange girl, the yellow guy, the pink girl, the blond girl. So, when she asked, “Who’s the black guy?” and she was talking about George W. Bush, I had to laugh. And “who’s that white guy?” which would be an older black gentleman with white hair. Love it.
It’s a universal thing with kids. I wonder when they start identifying people by their skin color. I also wonder if our new President ever gets tired of people talking about him being black. I wonder if he’d just like to say, “You know what? I’m also really smart and talented and good at what I do. I think I’d make a marvelous President even if both my parents were white.”
So, I’m going to stop talking about color. In a minute. The girls came home from school asking if their friends could play. We said sure. Doorbell rings. It’s a boy and a girl. (not siblings) I’m out in the kitchen, and I hear Gabe say to the boy, “You can’t wear that coat in here. Leave it outside.” I know, without looking, what coat he’s talking about. It’s black and yellow with a certain NFL logo on it. If we don NFL gear in this house, it’s orange and brown. Color matters.
Our neighbor boy laughs and takes off his coat. Inside. I hear Gabe say, “Wow, I like your shirt. That’s cool.” I smile, because I think I know what’s on his shirt. He comes around the corner. Black shirt, 4 multi-colored paintings of Barack Obama–Hope, Change, etc. “I like your shirt,” I tell him. He tells me he got to go see Obama in person. [Neighbor Girl] was there too. “Very cool,” I say, smiling.
Neighbor boy is 7, short, and absolutely adorable. His mom is white, his dad is black. Neighbor girl is 8, tall, absolutely adorable. Her mom is black, her dad is black. The other 3 girlies in the house are tall too, and absolutely adorable. Their mom is white, their dad is white. They’re all playing a Ms. PacMan marathon at the moment and cracking me up. They all squeal the same, laugh the same, and yell the same.
Not too many years ago, there wasn’t any such thing as video games. Or iPhones. Or televisions. And not too many years ago, there wasn’t any such thing as kids with brown skin playing in white kids’ homes.
Praise You, Lord, for how far we’ve come. Forgive us, Father, for our sordid past. Praise Your Name that you love all your children the same. (and that Jesus wasn’t white, but that’s another post..)
Thank you for this monumental day. And thank you for our neighbors. And thank you in advance for helping the Steelers lose the Super Bowl. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.