As part of a month-long blog challenge, I am following the prompts from #reverbbroads11. Today’s prompt: How did you become more of a grown-up this year? Or did you pull a Peter Pan and stubbornly remain childlike?
The truth is I have always played the grown up. Contending with my parents divorce at age 10, regularly playing the designated driver in college, and always planning/preparing for what’s next. So, seeing things through an adult lens is pretty standard.
However, a few months ago, I was driving home with my seven year old (aka MiniMe) and my three year old (aka MyT) in the back seat. The CD playing was a mix of positive songs that MiniMe likes. When It’s A New Day by will.i.am began, MiniMe began telling MyT how the song was written in response to Barack Obama’s election as the first Black President, a story that I had often told her. MiniMe proceeded to further educate MyT on the injustices that existed for Black people and their struggle for Civil Rights, including paraphrases of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s wish for white children and Black children to grow up together.
In the front seat, I was tearing up, touched by the simplicity with which my eldest was describing the need for social justice. This is one of the many times I get to see the world through my children’s eyes. I see how they observe and absorb incredibly complex ideas and conflicts and can replay them with the purest of truth.
I am very thankful for that new lens. I am thankful that my view of the world is altered daily. And when one of my girls challenges why I am upset or angered by something going on in the world, I am grateful for their fresh perspective and often simple solution. We have a lot to learn from seven year olds.
And that conversation going on in my back seat? MiniMe explained to MyT that Black people couldn’t have jobs that they wanted when they grew up. The conversation became this:
MiniMe: “That’s not fair is it, T? Everyone should be able to grow up to be what they want to be, shouldn’t they? What do you want to be when you grow up?”
MyT: “A Black man.”
Dream the impossible dreams, girls.