Yesterday there was a 4th of July party at my parents house. I walked in the door, hugged my mom, and willingly exiled myself to the kids room. The kids table, outside with the kids after dinner, the whole deal.
I am 23 and I have been working with kids for 7 years.
When I was in Chile, who did I miss? Right: kids.
I do not have my own kids and I do not want my own kids.
However, it is clear that I like kids. I want to be around them. I do not like them because they are small and say random things and I can boss them around and sound smart while telling them historic or scientific facts that everyone who has any sort of middle school education knows. No, actually, I like them because I respect them. I feel that by being the only ones here brave enough to be vulnerable and ignorant and small, they earn my respect. When I am in a room with adults my interior screams: WHY DONT WE ALL STOP FAKING IT. When I am with kids, well, it gets quieter.
The most shocking cultural behavior that has impacted me this year during my re-entry has undeniably been the way people in the U.S.A. treat their children. White kids, in particular, get my attention because I have only ever been one, and I know exactly how it feels to be a sensitive creature at the other end of that repremand, that painted smile, that flippant laugh.
Interactions in restaurants, at the gym, in the neighborhood–anywhere!–have exposed me anew to the egoistical disrespect with which children are treated. We have got to stop! If we do not acknowledge our children as humans, and being a human as intrinsically good, how will we love this world back to life?
The lie of badness is daily hammered into children, in all spheres of our culture. Home. School. Play. Good Lord, no wonder we are killing each other! I almost do not blame us. Except for all of the goodness I have seen, and have learned to see. There is so much goodness & we are truly all intrinsically good, accepted, loved, and valued. This darkness cannot last long. Our souls were made to be free, if not as children, then as adults.
I wrote the following piece after witnessing a particularly harrowing parenting episode in a restaurant. Parenting truly must be difficult, but I know it is not impossible to hear the cry of our children. I know it is possible for each adult in the U.S.A. to welcome their the truth of their goodness home into their deepest selves that they may pass it on. That the cry for love may be heard, and may heal the generations to come.
The Cry of the White Kid is a cry for respect & love. May we, as adults, receive the love and respect that is freely poured out on us from the Divine, and may our children absorb it and thrive.
The Cry of the White Kid
Please don‘t look me in the face and tell me that I am bad.
Please don‘t teach me to see the patterns of my shadows–I need you to teach me to see the light that will lead me into and through that darkness.
Please don‘t smile at your friends and tell them how bad I am while I have tears streaming down my face.
Please don‘t laugh at the way I swim or only point out my weaknesses.
Please assume that I am right where I should be, instead of stressing constantly that I am behind the others.
Please don‘t use me to puff up your ego or make your decisions or shield you from your emotions.
Please don‘t always point out my imperfections–I already see them in full color. I need you to show me my perfection. No one else ever will.
Love unconditionally and with all my respect,
Future You in the World
Lydia Nomad, a white kid 🙂
P.S. Here is a Great Parenting Blog Post.