“I believe that children are our future/Teach them well and let them lead the way.” – from The Greatest Love of All written by Michael Masser & Linda Creed
Watching little children play always restores my faith in humanity. Their innocence and acceptance inspire me to examine my own behavior and modify it accordingly. My 3-year-old son, X, recently taught me the importance of building color blind friendships.
My wife, KayEm, and I were shopping for kitchen tiles (Things Married Men Do #127) when our son spied a blonde girl entering the store.
“Hi,” he said as he approached the girl. “I’m X.”
The girl was a little hesitant at first, but she eventually introduced herself. “I’m Peyton,” she said.
X held up three fingers and said, “I’m three.”
“I’m three, too,” replied the little girl. And with that brief conversation, the two of them became instant friends.
They ran through the store with such glee playing hide-and-go-seek, monsters, and other made-up games. A few minutes earlier, they were total strangers and within minutes, they were playing as if they’d known each other forever. They didn’t allow race or gender to cloud their opinion of each other. All that mattered was having fun.
“Peyton,” said a voice from the other side of the store. “It’s time to go.” The little girl looked up to see her mother at the cash register. She ran across the floor and grabbed her mother’s extended hand. The two of them walked outside and loaded their SUV.
X ran to the glass door, pressed his faced against it, and watched as Peyton and her mom drove away. After a few minutes, he walked towards me with a dejected expression on his face. I picked him up and he buried his head on my shoulder.
“What’s wrong, son?” I asked.
He whispered silently in my ear between sobs, “I miss my best friend.”