Ahhhhhhhhh, out of the mouth of babes.
This precious one, to be exact.
This moment is so embarrassing that I'm almost at a loss for words. This moment is one of those times where a child says something so far out of context, that you must tell a large background story to redeem any dignity that you once had. It's one of those moments where Ricky Ricardo would say,
"Lucy, you have some 'splainin' to do!"
Here's the deal. On Monday, we celebrated Martin Luther King Day. As a responsible homeschooling mother, I felt that this was a great opportunity to study the many reasons why this holiday is important. First, we read all about the life of Martin Luther King Jr. We talked about the word "prejudice"...what it means, and what it looked like during the 1950's and today. We talked about segregation and the horrible way people were treated because of the color of their skin. We talked about the important work that Mr. King did to help ensure that all people were treated equally.
After our historic reading, we watched Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, and emphasized the line "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." We watched a documentary on his ground breaking work to end segregation in this country.
Later that evening, we had a lengthy discussion at the dinner table about how God made us all equal, and how he made us all unique and special. We asked the kids to imagine how horrible it would have felt to have to drink from a different fountain, sit on the back of the bus, eat at the back of the restaurant, and go to a different school...just because of the color of their skin.
I felt like the kids had a pretty good grasp of the significance of the holiday....that is, until tonight.
My 8 year old and my 5 year old daughters go to the same church class on Wednesday nights, and on our way home tonight, my 8 year old recounted the evening's events to us, and I nearly choked on my Dr. Pepper.
Imagine a room with 40 kids inside, and about 8 adults helping out. During the Bible story, the teacher was talking about how the children could go anywhere around the world to tell people about Jesus. Then, according to my 8 year old, my baby girl....my precious little 5 year old baby girl, raised her hand, and blurted out, "White people didn't like black people."
I gasped! "What did she say?" I asked my 8 year old.
"She said, "white people didn't like black people"."
I said, "That's it? She didn't say anything else? She didn't explain her comment further? She didn't talk about Martin Luther King or ANYTHING?????"
"Nope." Then she said, " Mom, it was really embarrassing."
I didn't know what to say...how to respond.
The first thing that came to mind was that we were going to have to some major damage control before many prominent members of our church thought we were some type of racists. Then we would have to sit our kindergartner down and tell her that she needed to be more clear about what she was trying to say in AWANA. I know her heart was in the right place. I know she was just trying to share with the class what she had learned this week, but she' really got to use a few more words to give the full meaning of her thoughts.
But for now, my husband and I just want to hide under a rock for a day or two.
I keep telling myself, "This too shall pass."
Has anyone else's child said anything embarrassing like this??? Please tell me I'm not the only one.