My Son Asked Me About Race. Here’s Why I Didn’t Give Him The Politically Correct Answer.
Earlier this month, my four year old son asked me a fabulous question…
My son: “Mommy, she (my youngest daughter) has brown skin.”
Me: “I know! Isn’t it beautiful?”
My son: “Yes. I have brown skin too.”
Me: “I know, buddy. It’s so handsome!”
My son: “You don’t have brown skin.”
Me: (silently preparing myself for a super important conversation, of which I am hyper-aware that I’m completely inadequate to address) “You’re right. I don’t. What color is my skin?”
My son: “Golden.”
Me: “Golden?!? Really?!?” (I am the poster child for fair skin. I was so elated that he didn’t call me white, or even blue, that I almost lost sight of how important this conversation truly was.)
My son: “Yes. Why are you golden and I’m brown?”
Me: …(taking a deep breath and in my head saying “Sweet Jesus, help me answer this one well!”)
And we proceeded to have one of the most beautiful conversations I’ve ever had…
I realized in that moment that I was putting pressure on myself to give my son the perfect answer. And to be totally honest, to give my son the perfect politically correct answer.
But you know what? That’s not what he was asking for and I would be doing him a disservice to give him some kind of vague, politically correct answer of which “the world”, i.e. all of the media, (and honestly, some of my super liberal friends whom I truly value and cherish but disagree with on certain issues), would approve.
In our home, we are not politically correct.
We are just us.
We are just people.
We are just family.
At home, there aren’t any negative connotations with race. There is no division between “black” and “white”. Maybe because at home we’re just brown and golden.
But more than any of that, we are children of God. We are all the adopted children of a loving Heavenly Father, who has gifted us with an incredible inheritance alongside Jesus. Jesus, y’all. This truth will never not absolutely ﬂoor me…
So that is exactly what my golden self and my brown son talked about.
I asked him, “Who made the mountains?”, to which he replied, “God!”
I asked him, “Who made the oceans?”, to which he replied, “God!”
I asked him, “Who made the sun, the moon, and the stars?”, to which he replied, “God!”
I asked him, “Who made all of the trees and the ﬂowers?”, to which he replied, “God!”
I asked him, “Who made the animals?”, to which he replied, “God!”
I asked him, “Who made all of the people?”, to which he replied, “God!”
I asked him, “So God made us?”, to which he replied, “Of course, Mommy!”
It was so fun to tell him just how right he was. I told him that not only did God make us, but He made us in His image.
When he stared at me blankly, I explained that meant that God made us to look like Him. Like literally reﬂect His glory in the way we look. This still blows my grown-up mind by the way…
I asked him, “How big is God?”, to which he replied, “BIG!”
I asked him, “Like how big? Show me…”, to which he replied, “THIS BIG!” (with fully outstretched arms)
I asked him, “If God is that BIG, then how could we reﬂect ALL OF HIS BIG BEAUTIFUL GLORY if we all looked the same?”
He stared at me.
I told him, “God made us all look a little bit different because He couldn’t ﬁt all of His beauty into just one person. Or one eye color. Or one hair texture. Or one body type. Or one skin color…”
Not even close.
In our house, we believe that God is BIG. And we believe that He is BEAUTIFUL. And we believe that we are HIS CHILDREN. And we believe that He made us to look like Him because He is OUR DADDY.
I realize this is just my humble, “unpolitically” correct opinion, but I’m going to go ahead and give it: we are being really shortsighted to teach our kids about race from any other perspective. There are a lot of directions from which to approach this topic, but most of them start with or end with some sense of division. This one doesn’t. And that’s because in God, there is no division among us. There will be no division is heaven, so who are we to draw lines here on earth?
We are all His children. And it takes all of us to accurately reﬂect who He is and what He looks like.
We are all meant to be small reﬂections of His big glory.
My son: “That’s great, Mommy! Now, can you go get me some Cheez-its and turn on Paw Patrol?”
Me: “Little boy, you can have anything you want. You called me golden!”