Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Conversations that start innocently...

Samantha is six years old and has one week of kindgarten left. It was my turn to put her to bed tonight, so we started to chat:

Samantha: Daddy, look, I cut my hand (she shows me a small scab).
Me: Sorry, sugar. How'd it happen?
Samantha: (Smiling) Well, Kenneth bet me I couldn't jump off the high part of the bench, so I did it. Then I kinda landed like THIS! (puts her hands on the ground)
Me: Did it hurt when you did it?
Samantha: A little, but I didn't cry. I never cry at school.
Me: Never?
Samantha: Nope. I'm brave at school.
Me: Okay. Is Kenneth a good friend?
Samantha: Yeah daddy he's a good friend, but sometimes I can't tell what he's saying.
Me: Why not?
Samantha: Because he's black.
Me: Huh?
Samantha: He has black skin. And sometimes I can't tell what black people are saying. We have black boys and girls in my class, and my teacher is black, and sometimes I don't understand them.
Me: What do you mean? Do they use different words?
Samantha: No, they use the same words as us. They just say 'em different.
Me: Interesting.
Samantha: And a lot times when they're talking, they'll go "YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYIN'!" (cocks her head at an angle as she says it).
Me: They all do that?
Samantha: Yep. And sometimes white people say it too. That makes me laugh.
Me: I think it's time for bed now.


Anonymous said...

My kids call them brown. They will correct me every time. I would have loved to have seen her say that, with her head cocked.


atimetorend said...

Nicely related dialog. It is such a privilege to see how kids think through these things on their own. My young guys are in the process of switching from "brown skins," their own term, to "African American."

Don said...

The totally honest musings of a six year old. I love it! I am so glad you remember (and relate) these wonderful episodes. I have totally forgotten most of my kids conversations. How sad! But, it was another time, another place, another dispensation....

MamaRose said...

HOW VERY CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND, PERCEPTIVE, TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I remember THE DAY SAMANTHA WAS BORN--it was THANKSGIVING & we were having our LUNCH together in LR with all the GGP's--to be--and, as we walked into the place a nice black man 'told us where to go' for the buffet & I said, 'Thank You' & George W. said--'YOU UNDERSTOOD HIM?????'--he had NO IDEA what the guy had said!!!!!!!!!

So, everyone uses the SAME WORDS, but when some folks have a DIFFERENT ACCENT it SOUNDS differently & Sam is SO SMART to already 'hear'/tell the difference--I've found the MORE I talk with those folks, the EASIER it IS to UNDERSTAND THEM--so, she'll be able to understand MORE as she goes.

THANKS for passing it on to us all!
LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!! RoRo

James said...

Michael has a very diverse group of kids in his class and he is actually only 1 of 2 kids that are white. He comes home and trys to tell me his friends name and I feel like he is going to the school for the united nations. I really enjoy that he is color blind, and I hope that it stays like that through out his life.

quid said...

A wonderful, uplifting story.


Anonymous said...

I really love that you have a conversation with Samantha on your blog, and Jamie has a conversation with Jack on hers! It shows how much you both love your kids! And how smart and funny they both are.

Not that I ever doubted any of those things, but you know what I mean!

-Amber Herndon