Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cultural Education 101 - Fail

   Last weekend, we were with a family who had adopted a little boy from Uganda a couple of years ago.  The precious little boy and AB played together for a long time at a mutual friend's birthday party. Later that night, as I was tucking AB into bed, she had some pretty serious questions on her mind.  She had noticed that her new friend had a different skin color than his brothers did and she wanted to know if her little brother's skin would match hers.  I told her I didn't know, but his skin might be a different color than ours. It completely melted my heart to hear her say, "Well, mommy, skin doesn't have to match to be a family.  I don't care what color his skin is...he's my baby brother!" So thankful that she gets it :)
   Later that same week, we took a trip to the library where I decided it would be a great idea to get some books on Colombia and do some cultural education with them.  I found 3 books full of pictures of the country, the major cities, the food, the coffee, the people.  I couldn't wait to get home and look at the books with them and show them about the country where their baby brother will be from.  I told the girls on the way home exactly why I'd gotten the book.  AB was excited to see what the people look like, so she could start to get some sort of visual for what her baby brother might look like. I have to admit that I, too, found myself staring at the pictures of the kiddos playing and eating throughout the books and dreaming about my little boy - wondering if he would enjoy some of the same activities as the kids in the book....like playing soccer and climbing trees.
  As soon as we got home from the library, it was time for lunch. Past time, actually, and I was starving.  I sat the books on the counter and started making sandwiches.  What I did not notice while slaving over the stove slapping the soy butter onto the bread was that AB had gotten one of the books and began looking through it on the couch.  Suddenly, I hear her scream, "Mommy!!!!!" I look up to beautiful, wide, terrified, oh-my-goodness-what-are-we-doing eyes.  I start to get heart palpitations wondering what in the world is wrong and I run to her side.  As she turns the book to me, she tearfully exclaims, "Is THIS what he's gonna look like?!"  And shows me this picture...

   ...of a scary-looking gold statue-thingy. Poor girl.  Thankfully she was not traumatized at all and smiled really big when I turned a few pages over and found some kiddos playing soccer in a field.  Lesson learned: when doing cultural education with your small kiddos...preview the learning material and supervise as their soaking it in!!

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