“We must never underestimate the incredible life-shaping power of even the smallest word of encouragement, spoken by one who loves and respects another.”
[Paraphrased from Author Lynn Anderson]
It was dinnertime and I was sitting with my sons when my deep-thinking, sweet second child remarked that he wished he had another skin color. [On our side of town, blacks are in the minority.] My child further observed that most of the TV shows on the major child friendly networks show few children of his pigmentation.
I was surprised at the turn of the conversation; and surprisingly, I did not respond in a hurt or shameful manner. In a lighthearted way of diffusing the situation and grasping the teachable moment, I said, “Why not wish you were many colors instead? We could write a book. What color should your eyes be? Carrots are good for your eyes so let’s say orange.” What color should your ears be? Lets say red like the fire engine” and I grabbed paper and pen and gave birth to this beautiful masterpiece - “I Wish I Were Many Colors”. We had so much fun! That was over two years ago. Since then my children no longer desires to be of a different skin color. I encouraged them then, and still do now, to be the best they can and to believe that they too can be on Television; they too can write the script; they too can produce the show; they too can be the Director. The possibilities are endless!!! The lesson of acceptance coupled with desire and determination (ADD) was taught and is reinforced on a consistent basis.
My ten year old joined the News Crew at school. (He stays behind the camera though!); and he is also the Lieutenant of the School’s Safety Patrol Troop. He is also a Webelos crossing over to Boys’ Scout in a month’s time.
My 9 year old (The Thinker he is) is reading at a 6th grade level with excellent comprehension skill. He is smart, talented, and can tell me within seconds of my asking, how many hours it would take to bake a ham that weighs 9.06 pounds at fifteen minutes per pound. [The answer my husband confirms is 2 hours and 16 minutes.]
My 7 year old boasts that he is smarter than his 5th grade brother (sometimes) and is excelling in reading and math in school.
My 4 year old annoying tells me over and over again to ask him a question that he can answer by spelling the words “Yes” and “No”. Yes, he is spelling words and can accomplish simple additions as taught by his 7 year old brother. My 4 year old even has his own profile on the computer and knows his User Name and Password.
Most importantly, as my 4 year old will tell you, they all know that “God made me Special”! They know that God should be first place in their lives and no matter the pigmentation, the statistics, the ratio, the probability, they can achieve anything they set their minds to achieving.
Dear Readers, keep on hoping and encouraging our young children. They are so precious and God made them special. “I Wish I Were Many Colors” is bound to become a classic for our young people.
PS: I love to see that slow smile creeping across their faces when they accomplish a task they thought they could not do …… PRICELESS!!