Today we had a stellar homeschool day ~
We gathered 10 kids 5 and under and taught them about why we have Martin Luther King, Jr. day.
I have all kinds of thoughts…deep, warm, reflective, etc. about this. My kids have had diverse friendships since they were conscious, whereas I remember ‘my first black friends.’
I am grateful I grew up in a time when I could have black friends –
– but I am so grateful they are growing in a time where they simply have friends, and don’t really notice the differences between them.
Our projects were:
– one mom had them put their hands in a circle, so they could see their differences. Then she read a picture story of Dr. King and showed them a part of his “I Have a Dream” speech.
– the next mom passed out battery-operated candles and taught them to sing “This Little Light of Mine.” She had a great storybook to go along with it that illustrated a little boy shining his light but showing affection to his family and kindness to strangers.
– I taught them (as well as I could) about the Freedom Riders, and how many people of different races came together so that they could all ride the bus together…then we made little pictures with bus stickers and the word “FREEDOM.”
– the fourth mom helped them put together individual pizzas, which started out being “faces” but then just became unique creations, just like all of us.
I’m not sure how much of today’s lesson stuck with my littles, but I do know they listened and sang and had fun with their friends. And I know I was not the only teary-eyed mom in the room when we heard Dr. King say:
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
Our kids – and some of their friends who weren’t represented today – are that dream. They are growing and playing and learning together equally and peacefully. I know we have ways to go in terms of understanding each other. I know many are still persecuted or even treated cruelly. But I hope we can agree that we have come a long way…we are free to be each other’s friends.