last night, as i was snuggling stella to bed ... she inquired about the previous day's holiday.
"mama? what was the special name for yesterday?"
- well, baby, it is called martin luther king day.
"why is martin luther king special, mama?"
- he was a very important man that wanted everyone to realize that it doesn't matter what color skin you have. one time he gave a speech ... a very special talk ... to lots and lots of people ... and he said "i have a dream ..." and he wanted people to know that his dream was that the only important thing is who you are ... what you do ... and how you do it. he wanted to see little boys and girls that have different colors of skin hold hands and be friends. he wanted his little kids to grow up in a world where the color of your skin doesn't matter.
"did he die?"
- yes, honey, he died.
"how did he die?"
- well ... someone that didn't like him ... hurt him.
- they shot him with a gun, baby. it was very mean. it's not nice to hurt or make someone die, just because you don't feel the same way they do about things.
"did he like barack obama?"
- yes, honey. i'm sure he would have. they never got to know each other ... i would guess. but i think that martin luther king is happy that people in our world decided that the color of skin doesn't matter. today is a very special day too. because today we have a new president ... someone that makes a lot of people very happy. we've never had a president before that has a different color of skin ... kind of like we've never had a president that is a girl ... today was a day to see that anyone can be anything.
"yeah. 'cause girls can do anything boys can do. and boys can do anything girls can do. boys can even be speechathologists and teachers ... and girls can be pilots and presidents."
- yep, baby ... anyone can be anything. and i'm pretty sure that you will see a girl president in your lifetime. isn't that awesome? now you go to sleep honey. good night, sweetheart. sweet dreams.
"there was thousands and thousands of people watching the new president, mama."
- yes, honey ... there were millions of people.
"is millions more than thousands and thousands?"
- yep ... it is.
"that's a lot of happy people, mommy."
- you are so right. good night, baby. i love you. sweet dreams.
and with that?
i left my growing-in-front-of-my-eyes baby ...
i left her with the realization that there is a new hope and a newfound confidence in the world that we live in.
i left her with the understanding that she can be anything.
i left her in her warm bed ... and wept in front of the television ... watching the new president and his wife dancing and smiling and twirling ...
and i hope that i left her dreaming of all the things that she can do and be and see in her lifetime.
because i have a strong feeling that my ... no ... our world ... is changing ... for the better.