Monday, May 9, 2011

No Golden Ticket Here

So when my son Nicholas was about 3 and a half, he finally began to notice that not everyone looked the same. In fact some of the differences were meant to call attention to if you asked his opinion.

His cousins are mixed race and so he suddenly noticed his best bud Cole was a different shade one day and said, 'Cole's brown." "Yes he is, just like his Mommy and Daddy," I said. pause. "Aunt Gegea is not brown(my sister, Genea). "Well what color is she?" "Grey." (Lucky Uncle Carry is the color of warm mocha.)

So began the slide for me into the perpetual parental embarrassment of having an articulate child. Nick's younger brother was 18 months old and both were seated side by side in a giant shopping cart at the local Petsmart. "Look at the bird!" "Look it's a ssssssssssssssnake!" "Mom that guy only has ONE ARM!"

Cue complete and utter silence in said store, except for the crickets chirping out their beleagured version of the Ave Maria before being eaten by the store iguana. "Sweetheart shhhh, we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings." "BUT MOM WHERE IS HIS ARM?"

"SSSSHHHHHHHH please lets use our quiet voices and I will tell you."

"okay....." So I began,"Nick sometimes people are born with only one arm or leg, or some times they lose an arm or a leg in an accident."


"Hush and listen, he looks very healthy, he works here with the kitty cats and see he is able to carry big bags of food and help people. God makes everybody different."

So from then on there were multiple situations each week where Nick would notice something different and we would review the ways in which people are different from one another and I would wind up each and every conversation with my best rosy comment that, "God makes everybody different!"

Six months later the day began as any other, I loaded up the minivan with the boys and drove to meet another mama at a local bagel store. I parked by the store and helped Nick out of his car seat and onto the curb next to the car where he could wait while I did the same for Henry. Suddenly, in full voice Nick bellows, "MOM, LOOK AT THAT GUY!"

(Cue sounds of internal maternal sirens on continuous loop)
Panic stricken I pulled Henry out of the car and turned to see a man about 3 feet tall at most, a little person.

"Nicholas shhhh, remember we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings."

The man smiled at the boys and continued waiting for someone in front of the bagel store. "Nick smiled back and pokes Henry in the arm and says,"HE LOOKS JUST LIKE AN OOMPA LOOMPA."

And then my precious now four year old turned and looked at me as the little person wisely chose to move farther away from our family,"I guess that's just how God made him, huh?"


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