Last Saturday, my son and I were walking down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and he stopped and said, “Mom, I just want to sit here on the steps and watch the people.” People watching! Yes! That is something I like to do!
My son, Taylor, is so NOT ME, most of the time. He is loud and obnoxious and energy and running and talk talk talking and hands everywhere and WOW, I don’t see how I’m his mother. But people watching– so me. Behold! -He is my child after all! Maybe we can bond or something?
So we’re sitting there, me snapping photos of the scenery and Taylor just turning his head to and fro, taking in the sights and checking out the bewbies of the teen girls two steps down (he does that) and I’m all peaceful-like and thinking, “What a great moment with my son…” when the darling young turd stands up and shouts “Hey people! Lincoln thought black people were cool! And you know what, HE WAS RIGHT! I didn’t see that coming!”
Oh, Mortification, my oldest and dearest friend, I see you have come to visit me once again. Let me stop bonding with my son and start bonding with you.
Dudes, my son is not a racist kid. I mean, are there racist kids? Kids don’t even notice such things as skin color. But golly, what a way to sound racist. “I didn’t see that coming!” –As if it’s a total shock that black people can be even tolerable let alone cool. C’mon, son, how many times have we watched Dave Chappelle together? You know black people are cool.
So we’re standing atop of a mountain of judgment (disguised as marble steps) and the entire National Mall is looking up at me and my son, their eyes darting side-to-side frantically, their mouths open wide, silently screaming, “DID HE JUST SAY THAT?!” And they are looking to me for the answer, but what is the question again? — Am I raising a racist prick kindergartner? Is my son a white devil? Is he simply a five-year-old repeating a phrase he heard in school? Are thousands of angry tourists going to club us with their cameras?
And so I answered them: “I didn’t see that coming.” while Taylor and I run down the steps.