Posted by: whimsigal | January 4, 2008

Conversations and Color Blindness

We stayed up late last night watching the news about the Iowa Caucus and woke up to more news about it today. Iain wondered why I was so interested in it and I explained that it’s all part of the process Americans use to pick the next President. On top of that, a black man won the Iowa Caucus and that’s really big news. We’ve come a long way, baby. It was fascinating to discuss this with Iain. He couldn’t believe that America has never had a black president, in fact, he thought Abe Lincoln was black. I explained that Lincoln was the president responsible for abolishing slavery which began a deep conversation between us. He was very upset that white people had enslaved black people and he looked very, very, worried. When I asked why he replied, “well, what if the white people try to make us slaves?”

“Why would they do that?” I wondered out loud. “well,” he began, “because we’re black.”

Have you seen my kids? They are almost translucent with their whiteness and Iain’s perception that we were black really caught me off guard. When he realized that his culture was the one responsible for slavery, he got very quiet and I could see that he was really upset by it. “Momma,” he said, “We have got to make sure that something like that never happens again. I don’t care whether people are black or white. I like everyone for who they are.” And he turned his attention back to his breakfast and that was the end of the conversation. Meanwhile, I sat dumbfounded on the sofa, amazed that my oldest child really is color blind. My youngest is a different story. He sees the difference in people’s skin tones and uses it as a reference point in conversation: that brown guy or that kid with the brown skin. He doesn’t judge people as good or bad because of it, he’ll play with anyone. It’s just that he definitely sees the difference where I don’t think it really registers any importance with Iain.

Right now, the boys are upstairs attending Iain School, which according to Ryan, is just too much fun. They have movie time, reading time, math time, play time, bathroom time. They have lots and lots of time! I love the days when they get along well with each other. Today, Ryan dropped a piece of pizza on the floor and I spoke harshly to him about it. Iain was quick to call my attention to the fact that it was an accident and I shouldn’t speak to Ryan in such a mean tone of voice. In the old days, this would have flipped me out. How dare my child tell me, the adult, how to react? But today, I looked at both my boys and realized that being mad about the pizza was silly and Iain was right. I shouldn’t speak to either one of them that way. It’s been a “school” day for all of us I guess. 🙂

On a different topic, you may see my banner change a gazillion times because I’m just learning how to do some stuff in Photoshop and have been going hog wild with it. Please bear with me and, if you see something you really like, please let me know!

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Responses

  1. Go Obama, Go! Go Iain, go! and i love when kids call us out.-K

  2. It was an exciting moment I think, watching Obama win the caucus last night, whether one supports him or not. It must be recognized that it’s a huge deal to accomplish what he has.

    You know what, I love it when they call me out, too. I really need the reminding sometimes!

  3. That sounds like such a cool conversation! I must admit I laughed a little when Iain said he was black! Why did he think that? Your kids are very cool!

  4. Marin, it was all I could do not to laugh out loud when he said it and I’m still not sure why he thought that.

    Ok, wait. I just asked him and he thought if you had any part of you that is black or might turn black when you get older then you’re black. Gosh, I really don’t know how to explain what it means. I told him earlier that the black people that were enslaved had been brought here from Africa but, it still didn’t register what that meant. Isn’t that funny?

  5. Geez, Evie!
    Give us a break!
    The least you could have done was divide this post up into four posts, so we could respond properly!!!
    Now it’s gonna take me a week to respond to all these things!!!

    Hmmph.

    The story with Iain made cry. I alternate between “it’s best to not notice a difference” and “who the heck cares?”. but not noticing and caring is a truly blessed place to be, I believe.
    A beautiful and admirable point via Iain.

    The caucuses – caucus’s – caucus’ – whatever.
    Oh my goodness. Shows me that sometimes goodness shines through!!

    “because we’re black” is just downright wonderful. Wonderful of Iain, wonderful of/for your environment, wonderful of you, his parents, wonderful for the state of this world.

    Watching out for eachother – Oho, I know this one! It’s related to that “I can say whatever, ’cause I know my own heart and know I don’t mean it, but to hear it come from another sounds mean and suspect.
    Goes to show that goodness is inside all of us, no matter what. Which is what I want to say in my response to MP if I ever get all this other Right Now stuff done….

    “In the old days…” Trev said something to me today – I’m often reminded of this lesson… I don’t even remember what he said – Oh! it was “Do you even have a brain???” now, in another moment I would have gotten snipey with him. But, as it happened, in this one, I was relaxed, and (coincidentally) remembered that just yesterday he told me I was The Smartest Person In The World :), so I was able to laugh it off. And ask HIM, instead of being offended, if HE had a brain.
    Not self-conscious, not offended. A good moment.

    Lastly – gah!
    I love the newest (created) one!
    I was going to say woohoo! yesterday – as I’m fairly certain it’s a true self-creation, but I didn’t because there wasn’t an opportune moment, I didn’t think.
    So yes! Love this one! (snowflakes with scrolls in the corner.)

    phew.
    That’s it! (and I’m not gonna edit for typos, so let the chips fall where they may! How brave I am today!!)
    xxxxooo
    Steph

  6. Sounds like you have a very bright, perceptive young man there 🙂

    And love the banner – I did notice it when I checked in yesterday. Very stylish!

    Saw a Canon 400D on sale yesterday with two lenses – over $1000 cheaper than the 40D with only one basic lens. Hmmmmm – do you know if there is much difference between the two? Am not financial at the mo anyhow, but did check that there are a few in stock if we do decide to go that way.

    cheers,
    Cate

  7. Steph,

    I’m with you, friend. Sometimes Iain’s perceptions really take my breath away. I was so tickled at first that he thought we were black, which actually we could be but that’s another story altogether. Then I was just so in love with the fact that this kid doesn’t look at the world the same way that so many do. He was really and truly stunned that people would enslave other people. And devastated by it, too.

    Oh god, how I laughed out loud at that story about Trev! I am so glad you were able to laugh that off. It really is funny.

    With the banner, I’ve been downloading free brushes for Photoshop and then playing with them for two days straight. It’s freaking addictive!

    So, so glad to have this comment from you. It illustrates exactly how I imagine you to be. Sweet, tender-hearted, and so incredibly beautiful!

    xxoo

    evie

  8. Cate!

    Nice to see you! I wanted to respond to your question about the camera. My husband picked out the 400D for me and I’m glad I got that first because I was really starting from square one and it’s been a great, user-friendly camera. Now that I’m getting more comfortable, there are some features that I wish I had that the 40D has, like Spot Metering for instance. If I were you, I would go and actually hold them in my hand and see which one you like better. The 40D is bigger so many men like the way it feels. I think there’s a joke there but I’m not going to touch it. Ho! I think I just made another one….ok, I’ll stop now. 🙂 Many people think the 400D feels like a toy because it’s small and light but I like that about it.

    My main suggestion is, buy the body only and then spend some money on a really good lens. You will outgrow the kit lens quickly. I love my 50mm lens and use it quite often. THe Sigma Lens that my hubby got me for christmas is also fantastic.

    Whew. I hope I answered your question and didn’t talk your ear off!! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them here or email me if you like!

    evie

  9. My kids didn’t used to see color either, our neighbors 2 doors down are black and the little kids are here all the time. One day a little girl down the road told Cassie that she didn’t like black people, Cassie didn’t know what to do, I’m so glad she told me about it. It brought on a great conversation, my kids said they would never not like someone because of the color of their skin 🙂

  10. Wow, Stephanie. That’s a real testament to your relationship with your daughter since she came to you with that information. How sad that someone so young would feel racial bias! Sounds like your kids have their heads on straight!

    evie

  11. And, if you find a dummies guide to Photoshop, will you let me know? I’m clueless.

  12. Any Photoshop book by Scott Kelby is a great place to start! Check Amazon.com for used copies. I have two books by him and have been really pleased with both!


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