Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Asher's Hair

With summer-like heat squarely upon us, many of our parental thoughts are about how to keep our kids cool.  Asher is discovering through this process that water is fun to play with.  It's really cute to observe.

And Jada is discovering that Asher's hair does not behave like anyone else's in her family.  So she constantly touches, picks at, and pulls on it during water play.

At first, I shooed her away in the same way I do so when she squeezes his cheeks too much.  But then I realized that she's not messing with her brother.  Rather, she's processing a new experience, one she hasn't had the opportunity to go through even with her closest friends.

I am reminded of a recent blog post by EmbraceRace founder Andrew Grant-Thomas, entitled "Our Kids Don't Have to Be Neurotic about Race Just Because We Are."  He notes that when kids say race-related things that grown-ups would consider inappropriate, their parents are often quick to apologize, change topics, or otherwise shut down the conversation, thus sending the unmistakable signal that race conversation is taboo and yet important, and thus missing out on a chance to meet their kids where they are and help instruct them.

If there's anything I hope for for our children, it's that they feel safe broaching any subject and any question within the safe confines of our family.  Asher's arrival into our lives, and even his hair, has been a gateway to many conversations on race, for which I am grateful.  Because we have so much to talk about and so much to learn.
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