Monday, June 14, 2010
They Look Like Me!
Oh, it has been so hard to blog these days! Once the kids got out of school, I have been totally busy just being with them. I just can't seem to carve out any time to sit at the computer and write out my thoughts.
We enjoyed our first week of summer vacation. Lots of trips to the pool already. Over the weekend, Joe and Harry left for a mission trip, so I took the kiddos to the mall and to see Shrek. It was a good movie, but more importantly the kids really, really enjoyed it. But, something happened at the mall that has stayed in my heart and my mind for the past few days.
The mall is located where we used to live, very close to Milwaukee. And once we were in the mall, I noticed George staring at certain people. It is not unusual for George to stare...it is a constant reminder from me NOT to stare or point at people. But this time, I didn't say anything, for I noticed he was staring at all the African American people walking around. And then I saw his face..he was smiling.
After a while of walking around and then getting some dinner, George finally shouted out with pure joy,"Momma! All these people here look like me! We have the same face and that make me so happy to see them." On one hand, I was so happy for him, simply because he was so happy. On the other hand, my heart broke into thousands of pieces; my son has been noticing that we look different from him.
I have known all along that George knows we look different. He'll ask me, "What color am I?" This question usually comes up when we are coloring and I think he wants to simply know the name of the color he is using. I usually tell him he is a "beautiful, chocolate brown..and I could just eat you up!" and he giggles and giggles. I then ask him, "What color am I?" and he always answers the same, "Yellow."
Yuk. I have never wanted to be known as yellow. We talk about people being sick, jaundiced, as yellow. Never been a fan of yellow, and I get a little sad that I have yellow skin next to this gorgeous rich brown (that is so stinkin' soft!). Is it wrong for me to say that I wish I was brown?
I was listening to a John Piper sermon yesterday as I walked the dog, and I could not believe my ears when he started in on racial harmony and justice. God has been using a mega-phone lately to pierce my heart on this issue. Piper goes on to tell the American church to wake up - he believes that in heaven, the majority of people there will be non-white. And if we are not comfortable with people of different skin colors now, we will be very disappointed in heaven when we are totally in the minority.
He is right..and now my attitude has shifted so dramatically toward race. I am sure it is because I have Georgie in my home and he is my son. But, I guess I had never thought out what adopting an African boy would do for generations down the line. The Weldie name will now have children of brown skin...and who knows? Maybe all shades of brown, yellow, red will eventually come to be known as Weldies!
I am sad that George is the alone brown beauty in our house...Joe and I often talk about this and what we can do. One thing we are certain of is teaching all our children that God made them just the way He wanted to - including skin color, eye color, and hair type. God did not make a mistake in how He created them. But what is just as important is that all skin colors, eye colors and hair types are beautifully and wonderfully made.
I am sure this is just the beginning of a life-time of dealing with race issues. I just can't bear to think about the day when a parent of a teenage girl George likes, tells his daughter that she can't see George because he is brown. I dread the day George comes home from the mall feeling hurt and betrayed by security that followed him through the store. I know I will burn with anger when George is pulled over by the police in Milwaukee simply for being the "wrong color". I know these days will come...until then, I need to pour into Georgie the knowledge that he is perfectly made and is loved beyond measure. I hope that when he is a young man, I can still make him giggle by telling him he skin looks like chocolate and I could just eat him up!
Posted by Traci Weldie at 6:24 AM