I don't know why I continue to feel surprised when conversations of race crop up unexpectedly. I honestly welcome these talks because letting things out is so much healthier than keeping things in; just somehow after all these years my children still manage to catch me off guard sometimes! :)
We were walking home from pre-school this week - Alec and me - when the question arose, "Mom, can I play on the Wii?" (Now that was an expected question from this particular child!) But somehow he quickly scooted from Point A (can I play on the Wii) to Point B (I want to make a Mii*) to Point C (the one that threw me for a loop) which was, "Mom, I want to have white skin."
Obviously I wasn't connecting the dots as quickly as he was because my response was, "You mean you want white skin on your Mii?"
"No, I want white skin," he answered. "Because I like it."
As always, a million thoughts flew through my mind in a split second. Some made more sense than others. Did someone say something to him at school? Are they making fun of him? Is he really not talking about his Mii? Was he using paints today? Did I actually hear him correctly?
And then, "Mommy, are you white?"
We paused outside the front door as I leaned close to explain. We've talked about this before. No one is really "white." We are all lighter or darker shades of brown (just ask Ken Ham!) And I assured Alec, "Your brown skin is beautiful! And most importantly, God gave it to you. And He only gives the best gifts!"
In typical pre-school fashion, once we crossed the threshold Alec seemed to shrug off the conversation and move onto the next thing. I said a quick prayer, that my words might have been useful and that my precious son might understand his true worth is so much more than the color of his beautiful skin!