I have a very strong conviction to teach my children to accept diversity in this shrinking world. While I may not know the details of how or what I'll teach them, I feel it is important for my kids to be socially educated, compassionate and empathetic. Of course there are moral limitations and I'm still trying to define what those should be as my children grow.
Sometimes kids turn the tables and teach us instead.
I took Bella to an indoor playground last week after school. We arrived about the same time as two other little girls about her age.
One girl was named Kylie and she was African American. The other little girl looked as if her face had been beat up by concrete with cuts all over, swollen eye, nose and lip. Her name was Sarah.
Bella doesn't have many African American girls in her school, I'm not sure why. She hardly ever sees children with injuries or disabilities (I had to double-take with Sarah because I first thought she had a facial deformity).
But after formally introducing themselves and giving each other the once over, the girls gleefully ran off towards the slide, chatting non-stop.
How they got out of their mommy's tummy. A universal topic.
None of the girls pointed out each other's differences or even Sarah's poor beat-up little face. There was no staring or grimacing. There was immediate acceptance and willingness to be best friends for the 15 minutes we were there. They hugged, held hands, cooed over Ava and told silly secrets.
It was wonderful to see and I was proud of all three girls. I know social exchanges won't always be so pleasant or without judgement, but I hope I can teach my girls to always be kind, think before they speak and not stare at those who may be different from them. Then again, they will probably learn more by example and that is the most important lesson of all. For all of us parents.