I always noticed that when my sons first started out coloring, whether it was their own mutated blobs, coloring books or plain ol’ restaurant place mats, they’d always use the wackiest shades to color in things and people.
What they laid to page was as random as the course taken by a drop of water. And just as innocent.
Everyone is born beautifully blind. Blind to color. So, when you put a crayon in the hands of a child, you can see something wonderful happen. They’re so starkly free of any prejudice it may be really difficult to even tell the difference between a person and a tree.
There used to be a crayon color called “flesh.” It was pinkish. In ’62 it was changed to “peach” because of civil rights and because of DUH! We live in different times now.
Recently, my wife went out with our littlest, Lucas, to deposit all our money at the Bank of Whole Foods. In the elevator, my son yanked gently on his mommy’s hand and whispered…
He was referring to a dark-skinned black man with thick black glasses and a beard. She was so tickled and amused, she couldn’t wait to relay the story. Now, while I’ll admit I was a little miffed that I can be reduced by my son to these two easily removed features (facial hair and eyewear), I was overtaken with pride and love that he was so beautifully color blind to race.
It’s possible he’s also got a thing for zombies.
I’m not constantly consumed with misgivings about whether I’m a good or bad parent as much as I was when I first started out. Moments like these though, seem to indicate I’m at least not totally terrible at it. Much. Probably. Maybe.
At least I’ve done something right if my kids only look at another kid sideways because of the superhero on their shirt rather than the color of their skin.
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