Posts Tagged ‘ American history ’

To Be Colorblind, Racially Speaking

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

As you commentate in the backseat in regards to the people you see on the sidewalk or driving the cars next to us, I’ve officially learned the language of “2 and a half year-old.”

I’ll hear you say, “Look at that brown man. Where’s he going?”

Or, “What about that yellow woman? She drives a truck?”

Though I was pretty confused the first several times because I was looking for the wrong physical traits, I eventually realized that when you refer to a person’s color, you’re simply talking about what color their shirt is.

At age 2 and a half, you evidently don’t see skin color like the way I’ve been conditioned to as a 32 year-old man who grew up in Alabama.

Knowing about all the segregation that took place just a couple of decades before I was born, I was constantly aware how horrible judging a person on their skin color was.

The good news is, I don’t think you’ll have to deal with this problem as much as I have throughout my life. When you were born, the American President was of both English and Kenyan descent; or as he’s often referred to, “America’s first black President.”

You were born into the least racist point in America’s recent history. (Right?) I don’t think you’ll ever be forced to see the difference in skin color the way I have throughout my life.

It’s tricky for me. I never want to make it seem like I’m truly “colorblind,” because then it takes away from the value of a person’s ethnic heritage and culture.

I suppose at some point, you’ll notice the different shades of brown that all of us human beings have; just like the way you notice what color shirts we wear.

Until then, I envy your innocence.




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Dad’s Candid Confession: I Used To Think Trains Were Sort Of Nerdy

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

23 months.

A train museum is Disneyland for a nearly 2-year-old boy.

I’m all for Disney theme parks and I’m really looking forward to the day my son Jack will be old enough to remember and appreciate a magical experience like that.

But for now, as he nears his 2nd birthday, a trip to the California State Railroad Museum was all he needed.

From seeing giant automatic train villages, to touring 1930′s train cars, to hanging out at the elaborate Thomas the Train play station, this was one museum that my squirmy son could not get enough of.

I’m seriously having trouble understanding what it would be like to have an American toddler son in the year 2012 who is not obsessed with trains.

What theme is your son infatuated with if not for everything locomotive?

If Thomas the Train and his die cast metal friends aren’t the theme of your son’s birthday party, and if he didn’t dress up as a train or a conductor for Halloween, and if he doesn’t have to carry out toy trains everywhere he goes, including to bed, well… what is he into?

This is all I know: Trains.

If this were the year 1995, Jack would have a t-shirt with a train on the front and the writing would read, in big letters:

“Life is trains. The rest is just details.”

The truth is, before my son got into trains, my preconceived idea about little boys liking trains is that it was sort of… nerdy.

But now I have been converted to the rough and tumble world of trains.

With all the soot and metal and crashing and American history, not to mention that most of the cast of Thomas and Friends is male, I no longer think trains are a dorky theme for my son.

So this election season, please know where I stand on this issue. I strongly support my son and his enthrallment of locomotives.

My best advice for anyone making travel plans for this upcoming holiday season, see where the closest train museum is and take your toddler son there.

If he has not yet been introduced to the world of trains, then make today the day.

Can I get a woot-woot?


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