Okay, I know kids will kids and all that junk but last week my heart broke for my little boy.
He was at a sports practice (and let me say that I contacted the coaches and they were wonderful and understanding, wanting to make sure Ab was ok. They are even going to sit down and talk with him at next practice and are going to speak to the one who made the comments—so I am very thankful for godly men!). I was watching from the sidelines and something seemed to be going on but I wasn’t for sure what. I try to be a good mom and let the coaches do the coaching and stay out of it. As we left Ab was very dejected which is so not the norm him. I asked him if he was okay. He said “no, that boy told me I”m not a very good.” OK..we can handle that. I responded with that wasn’t very nice and for him to remember how that feels and to not treat anyone else like that.
We got in the car and continued on and bit by bit he offered up more stuff that was said. “He said he didn’t want to be with me. He said my hair is not good. He said my skin is dirty. He said he won’t be with me next time” I tried to remain calm in front of Abenezer. I confirmed that it wasn’t nice and that I loved his brown skin and curly hair. Thankfully Ab still sits in the back of the car so I could let the tears roll. I felt angry and sad. I felt so bad for Abenezer that over a year ago he was in a place where he was the norm and now he is in a place where he is made fun of and made to feel bad for who he is. Not his shirt, not the way he acts or anything he can change (not that he should) but for who he is as a person.
We prayed for the little boy that night and confirmed with Ab that it was something inside that child’s heart and that it wasn’t him. He listened and said he understood. But how does a 7 yr old perceive all of that? I know how words hurt me and I replay them in my head over and over…and I’m an adult!
I know that it will happen again. We live in a very ‘white’ area. It just saddens me, especially that it came from a little boy. How can such a young child have such prejudices? Learned behavior… How sad, especially because he is missing out on a wonderful friend, Abenezer, who would give you the shirt off his back.
I was very naive coming into adopting a child of color. I knew that racism still existed. I guess I just denied to myself how much was still there. The very same people who tell me how cute and precious Ab is will have negative remarks about the young girl who dates a boy who is black. What changes? When is Abenezer no longer considered cute but a threat?
It just makes me so sad that we can’t look at each other and see how God sees. He see people whom He loves and people that He created. I don’t think He has a grading system based on our skin color.
I would love to hear how others handle remarks such as these.