The other day, the hubby and I stopped for a bite to eat after leaving the doctor's office in Meadville, MS. As we waited at the little run down drive-in, he suddenly just haaaaad to pee - so I decided to sit there on the outdoor table, while he went to the store down the street.
As I was sitting there, a little ball of energy wrapped up in the disguise of a four year old little girl came out of nowhere. Her name is Riah (I hope I spelled that right!), and she reminded me so much of my own Aimee.
The first thing she said to me was, "Why he have to drive so fast?" (referring to my husband as he peeled out of the gravel parking lot.)
Me: "He's just crazy."
Riah: "My daddy drives fast, too."
Me: "Well maybe it's just a boy-thing...what do you think?"
Riah: "Yep. Probably."
After that we chatted about hair - she was amazed that I could braid my hair without looking at it, and I admired her barrettes. We talked clothes - she had some awesome gold, sparkly shoes, and she loved the fact that our jeans looked alike! I told her all about my girls - she said she would soooo be friends with them; and she told me all about her family - her daddy's name is Raymond, and her mommy cooks at the drive-in, she has an older brother and her granny is in Heaven. She showed me her sweet dance moves, and how she can count to 13!
When Dennis returned, she declared that he and her daddy should be friends so that she could meet my little girls - so easy, right? I admired her pretty pink nails, and when she fell while trying to show me how well she could balance, I picked her up, brushed her off, and made sure that her little lip was ok.
There is a special kind of joy and innocence in a child's eyes; she was a bundle of happiness and being in her presence made it impossible not to smile
It didn't matter that she was only 4 and I happen to be 33.
The fact that we were complete strangers was a non-issue.
And so what, that her skin was a smooth, chocolate brown, and mine a sort of cream with freckles...lol
Her eyes also happen to be brown, while mine are green, and I'm a good bit taller than her, too.
But none of that even came to mind at the time. We were just two people, having a good conversation and sharing some laughter on a hot summer afternoon outside a dairy bar.
There is a sad kind of irony to this story.
Directly across the street from where we sat, stands a small memorial to a terrible tragedy that happened on that very spot on May 2, 1964.
On May 2, 1964 - my brief time with my little Riah...never would have been possible.
On May 2, 1964, two nineteen year old black teenagers - Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hazekiah Dee - were abducted and later murdered...just for the color of their skin.
Sadly, this kind of thing still happens in this world. Racism is not a "white-thing", however; it's not relegated to white people. Anyone can be a racist. I've encountered it. I'm sure you've encountered it at some point.
Ferguson, Mo is an example of racism - both ways, maybe.
But yesterday is the perfect example of how we should behave. Riah didn't see me as some old "white" lady; and I didn't see her as some little "black" girl. Neither one of us saw color. We were just PEOPLE.
I wish we could all see the world through the eyes of a four year old. Or, even through the eyes of my 6 and 9 year old - because they don't hate.
Hate isn't born, it's taught.
The world would be so much better with more Riah's and Aimee's and Haylee's walking around. Just sayin...
I look forward to seeing my little Riah again. Next time, I'm bringing Haylee and Aimee with me.
Watching: Happening Now