Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy MLK and a Winner is Born

So, today is a holiday. School is closed and so is Non-Disclosed Nonprofit, so here I am. Hanging out with the kids. Who may or may not be driving me crazy.

We're going to make a cake. Because if there are two things on this planet that Brynna loves doing, it's baking and celebrating. So, since it's a holiday, we're making a Martin Luther King Cake. Which, is, I know, kinda weird.

I tried talking to her about why we celebrate MLK day last night. I didn't get far. The fact is that to a five year old who is drawn to children who are different to her, the fact that people once hated and did evil things to people different from them is weird. The fact that a war had to be faught, marches had to be marched, speaches spoke, and minds changed for people to treat each other with respect is sort of beyond her ken.

And the idea that it was once revolutionary (may still be revolutionary) for people to try to change the world with peace rather than fighting. Well, since she goes to school and resolves conflicts by holding a ceramic dove, she kinda doesn't get that either.

What makes this so hard is knowing how much a five year old should know. I want her to know the history. To see the larger implications of deciding that our differences are worth more than our similarities. I want her to know that it's not just about the past, but about the future too. It's about learning from the injustices of our past and translating that to treating people fairly in our future.

But I also don't want her to know. I don't want her to know that there was a time she wouldn't have been allowed to go to school with some of her friends. A time, in fact when those friends wouldn't have been able to go to school at all. I don't want her to know about the horrible things that would have been said about those friends.

So, today we bake a cake. In honor of a man who sought to solve an old problem with peace. And Brynna wrote a song (which is, in honor of full disclosure, as much about cake as peace or justice Dr. King). And we'll go on for a little longer not knowing what hate really means. Thinking it is how Brynna feels about chicken vegetable soup, or about me when I punish her. It's okay. For today.

On a different note, thanks to, I declare the delurk winner to be Suze. So, Suze, please let me know what color scarf you would like, or send me a picture of your winter coat and I'll surprise you. Congrats Suze!!

1 comment:

Suze said...

Oh, I'm so excited!! You can surprise me! But if it helps at all, I finally bought a new winter coat this year (my first one since high school) and I need accessories that actually match it. It is very dark brown with a faux fur liner in the hood. So pretty much anything will go with it except black, navy or gray. And I can't wear yellow or orange without looking sickly...