Thursday, August 09, 2007

Guest Blogger Today

We had the pleasure of visiting with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren this afternoon. While we were eating dinner, I took the opportunity to ask our ever-precocious 4-year-old Caroline for help with my blog.

“I need to write in my blog tonight,” I said. Caroline nodded. She has a blog of her own, albeit one sorely neglected as of late. “So tell me - what should I write about?”

I was truly curious as to what she would say. Caroline has always had a tendency to be distracted by whatever is in her environment at the moment. When Caroline was younger, I used to talk with her on the telephone, and the conversation would invariably turn nonsensical, almost evolving into a story-telling mode, except for the fact that the things she was saying didn’t make sense. I finally discovered the reason when her dad took the phone and explained what was going on. Caroline had been watching TV while she was talking to me, taking the characters in a batch of commercials and weaving them into a whimsical tale that made no sense to anyone but her.

So tonight as we munched on our grilled chicken and vegetables, I asked my question and Caroline contemplated her answer. I knew she would draw from her extensive file of whatever she had been doing recently, the last thing she saw or heard, or whatever she noticed out the window while we were eating. One of those would undoubtedly serve as the basis for her answer.

Of course, she had an unlimited supply of material from which to formulate her response. After all, we had done a lot together already this afternoon. We had watched part of the Wizard of Oz. We had read a book about a broken powder box that was miraculously made whole again. She had played in the “bouncy house” in the basement. We had talked about our garden, and she had begged us to plant beets because “that’s Daddy’s favorite vegetable and my favorite vegetable!” When we arrived, she had coins all over the coffee table, as she had emptied her little bank and was sorting the coins into piles. We had even gone over a few pages in her “workbook,” where she drew lines to connect antonyms (100% correct, of course). So all these experiences, I knew, could be potential sources for whatever subject line Caroline was about to advise for my blog entry.

So you can see why I was rather surprised at what she said. “People’s skin and eyes.”
I pushed her hair out of her face (her hair is always falling in her face). “What about people’s skin and eyes?” I had to ask.

“That people who have different skin and eyes are regular people. They’re just regular people.” She looked up at me with a very serious expression. “And you shouldn’t make fun of them.”

Her father then elaborated a little, saying that she had just been to the fair this week and had heard a kid making fun of a black man that had been running a merry-go-round a few years ago, calling him “Gorilla Man.” Chris said it happened because the kid, young at the time, had never seen a black man before (Maine is a pretty white state).

So from her deep reservoir of images and sounds and thoughts, this is what Caroline offered for my blog entry tonight. So be it. Caroline, this is for you. I'm sure we all can use the reminder.

“People who have different skin and eyes are just regular people, and you shouldn’t make fun of them.” - Caroline Alice, age 4, August 9, 2007


Anonymous said...

Genius. Thanks, Caroline.

Anonymous said...

Out of the mouths of....

Thanks for the words of wisdom Caroline, we all need to be reminded once in a while.