Today, I was moved by a post on a friend’s Facebook wall. The post was regarding a conversation between two adults discussing the appropriateness of the principal at their school to have a nose ring. Obviously, they were not in favor of it. Several of the comments made me think about what kids might be learning today and the impact adults can have on shaping their beliefs. I know the first two I can impact are my own kidlets. Hopefully, the impact I make on them can ripple out to others. So here is a letter to my girls, in hopes they will make some waves.
Dear Biggest and Littlest,
When Biggest was little, you saw your first black person at the doctors office (Actually, that is not true. You had seen other black people before but they were kids. Somehow seeing the mom of the little boy you were currently playing with made something seem strange to you). You asked me why the lady was so dark brown (special thank you to the nice woman who did not burst into laughter when my daughter questioned her skin color, I could tell she wanted to). I calmly explained to you that God loves to use all of his crayons to color, the same way that you do. That was the first time we ever talked about people being different. But it has not been and will not be the last.
As you grow, you will encounter many different people in many different situations. You at some point or another find yourselves surrounded by people who are different than you. They may look different, dress different, talk different, or even think different from what you are used to. And you know what? That is OK.
The things which make us different are what makes us special. Some things we cannot control, like skin color, gender, or sexual orientation (I will tell you what that is when you are older). Some things we can, like hair color, tattoos, or personal style. Whether the things that make someone different can be controlled or not, does not make them any less special. Those are the things you should look to celebrate whenever possible, the things that make us sparkle as individuals.
You may encounter people who wish to dull the sparkle of yourself and others, but you must try not to let them. Stand up for the things you believe in. Help grow acceptance whenever possible, but do not stoop to a lower level to prove a point. Prove them wrong with the strength of your words and actions, and teach others to do the same. This will not always be easy for you to do, God knows I sure as heck don’t always do it right myself. But you both possess a strong spirit and I know you will rise to the challenge. Please know I will always do my best to support and guide you whenever I can.
So please don’t let anyone ever dull your sparkle. You are absolutely beautiful when you shine.
(AKA Skinny Jeans & Yoga Pants)
*SJ&YP Note: I wrote and re-wrote this post several times in order to keep myself off the soapbox as much as possible and to try and keep the positivity I hope I typically share in the blog. If my opinions, and they are just that, have offended anyone, my apologies. I am far from perfect. I like to think it is part of my own sparkle.*