Sunday, 28 February 2010


Yep, you heard it: Spring. That means Ganieda needs to be gearing up for Autumn before long… Here are the signs: It was daylight when I woke up this morning at 6:30. On a clear day it’s still light at dinner. We saw Striped Galloway calves on the way to church last week. We saw longhorn calves yesterday. There were snowdrops blooming in the ditch. Even in my cold wet shaded front yard, the tulips are 4-6 inches high. >contended sigh<

In other news, I traded my living room entertainment center and TV for a china cabinet. The old cabinet wasn’t “ugly,” but it was functional more than anything. The new one is quite nice looking, and matches our dining table quite well. It is a ‘reproduction,’ and isn’t solid wood, but it looks pretty close to the real thing. Bob will put pictures on Flickr.

We watched “Mom’s” 2 year old girl, Chloe on Wednesday and Thursday. She’s a sweet girl, very quiet, but hungry. : -) I thought she was a light, picky eater, but I was wrong. She’ll eat a full meal, and an hour later she wants something else! On Thursday, Ella was standing next to Chloe, and looked at her, and looked at me, and said, “Chloe’s different than me.” (No, I didn’t correct her grammar.) I said something about them both being little girls, and Ella said, “But her hands are … brown.” “Yes, that’s true, her skin is a different color.” “And her hair is…” She was looking for words, so I described Chloe’s two ponytails, and Ella decided she wanted ponytails, too. What am I supposed to say? Do we celebrate the differences or downplay them? Maybe it’s only because I’m white, but I tend to not make a big deal out of “race” – we are all Adam’s race, after all. I was raised that all colors are the same in God’s eyes and should be in our eyes, too. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here, except that this is a touchy subject in America, and as a white person I feel very uncomfortable saying anything about it.

Anyway… Elijah is teething, and wanting to talk and walk. He was singing and dancing yesterday. :- ) He’s very sweet and cuddleable. And I am officially out of things to talk about. Oh, wait. Ella drew her first person this week. She was coloring, and brought her picture to me and asked, “Does this look like a person?” It really did! She then informed me it was Daddy. A very good likeness, too, with receding hairline and all. She had eyebrows and ears, too, which most early artists leave out. Being very pleased with herself, she went back to draw a picture of me, too. (Way too many ‘toos’ in that paragraph!)
Okay, now I’m done.


Wil said...

Your story about Ella and Chloe reminds me of a story Meemaw told me about our cousin Micah, who was two (I think), and swimming in a small pool with their black neighbor in Louisiana.

When they changed clothes, Micah asked his mom (Karen), "Why is his p**** black?"

Karen answered, "Because his skin is black," and Micah accepted it.

Yes, children notice the differences, and it's sometimes difficult to explain without going down the wrong track. :-)

I'll have to answer similar questions someday with my own kids...

kimba said...

Answering that question on race is a lot easier than explaining why I use a wheelchair without generating more questions(while the adults are trying to shut the kid up). lol

MamaOlive said...

So, Kimba, if I may ask, would you rather parents let children ask, or shut them up? Is it more important that you be accepted *in spite of* the wheelchair, or that you be understood *in terms of* the wheelchair? (Hope that makes sense) For myself, I stand out in a few ways, but they are ways that I've chosen - the large family, the way I dress - and so that doesn't give me an accurate frame of reference for those who stand out physically. I want people to ask me about my choices, so I can witness to them. But to you is it an interesting conversation starter that you are in a wheelchair, or is it just irritating to have to answer every curious person who happens along?

Wil, I remember that story. Funny how little ones notice one part and not the others. :-) One day my children will probably notice that Marline is black. Do I tell them to ask her about it, and she can tell about her family in Haiti (or whatever), or just hush them because it's a "non-issue"? Where does one make the distinction between being racist and being aware of history and culture?

Thanks, both, for your interest and insight. I'm glad I have "diverse" friends. :-D

Wil said...

I think one of yours already asked her something about it, a couple of years back. (She'll have to remember the exact story, but it was something about she and I being married even though we looked so different...) :-)

As far as the distinction between being racist and being aware/curious, sadly, that depends on the attitudes of everyone present.

Personally (and I hope Marline agrees!), I think it's better to err on the side of curiosity and knowledge, especially where children are concerned.

As an adult, though, I make it a point to ignore it (race) altogether, believing sincerely that it shouldn't make a difference.

S.A.M. said...

I think your kids know I'm black. I remember Naysha asking me how I could be married to Wil because I'm black and he's white. I forget how I answered it, but it was a pretty simple explanation. Personally, I say answer your kids questions. If they want to why I'm black, well it's because my parents were. And if you don't know the answer they can ask me. Telling them I'm from Haiti doesn't explain why I'm black, because well you can be from Haiti and not be black. But yeah I don't get offended if a kid asks me a question. Hope this helps.

The HoJo's said...

I generally used to answer something along the lines of 'their family originaly came from somewhere so warm their skin needed protection'

this has been accepted and there is rarely a comment unless they see someone much darker or lighter and then it is generally a comment on the differences, not the colour.

I find it rather lovely that children can ask innocent questions and not be tongue tied like adults often are, in trying not to offend where no offence is meant. Having said all that they have not yet spoken to/about anyone who took offence one day that may happpen as they get older which will prove awkward as I have only ever explained the sameness and not the trouble the world has had with difference...


kimba said...

MamaO I understood your question I just haven't thought about it. I just answer the child's questions as best I can.

MamaOlive said...

Marline, thanks for stopping by. I had forgotten that Naysha asked you about that. I guess you gave a good answer because I haven't heard anything else about it. There are so many important qualities in a person, I really don't bother thinking about skin color. I'd just got to pondering the issue because recently a woman at church was talking with me about Sunday school, and said, "As a black family..." and I wondered if I *ought* to give it more consideration, because if you are in the minority (on any topic) things look different to you. Thanks for your input.

MamaOlive said...

Okay, thanks, Kimba. I appreciate you.