Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My dream on this historic day

I have a dream that my four children can be raised in a society blinded to racial segregation. That they can be protected from the blows of ignorance and hatred. That the evils brewing from ideas of racial prejudice would be blocked from their small minds by my maternal powers.

I have a dream that my children will spend their little boy days seeing in color, living with diversity and finding the joy in cultures besides their own. That my wings will shelter them from the ideas of slavery and oppression and the cruelty which lives in the depths of human souls today.

I have a dream that as my children live in this society, unconfronted, there will be no need to wake their reason too soon and cause them to begin the struggle of comprehending America's dirty past, the world's cruel history, or the reality of what still remains until they reach the age where it will shock their minds, pierce their heart and move their hands.

I have a dream that my four children will awake to fight the divisions that sin brings to race by spreading peace and the gospel of truth; encouraging those their hands touch to cry as brothers "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last!"

I have a dream that, someday,

They will change their world.


Janine the Bean said...

I look forward to our talk.


The Six of Us said...

A post thought:
I spent Sunday and Monday wrestling with how to celebrate Martin Luther King day and the historicity of this inauguration with my children.

I just couldn't bring myself to tell them WHY this is so important because it would have involved my unwrapping some of the evils of racism. I couldn't being myself to telling them. Not yet, probably not for a long time.

We talked of Martin Luther King, of his message (and GOd's) that all men are created equal. And we will celebrate the lives of those who helped to spread this message. But the evils of racism? Not yet. Not yet.

Sleep on, little minds. Reasoning will come.

Janine the Bean said...

My first response to this post was that I felt really bad. Like a bad mother for introducing my kids to this subject.

But I think we're on the same page more than when I initially read it. I dream too that my kids will live surrounded by diversity and appreciate it. ..though moving to Minneapolis might give us a bit larger pool to swim in.

But I didn't open up a can of evil yesterday. I didn't have to unlock the dirty past of America in all the details. Only the concept of slavery to Aidan. I didn't go into bloody details. Just the concept.

I want him to see the injustice. I want my kids to be kids who recognize injustice and know the truth.

Too early? I don't know...maybe. Maybe not.

We talked mostly about Martin Luther King Jr. himself. And what he stood for and how he stood up for what he believed in and how he gave it all for the cause.

There is injustice everywhere. Kids are always faced by it. Even in the grocery store parking lot when they witness a mom throwing her child into the car and slamming the door. Watching a neighbor kick their dog out of anger.

What do we do with that?

Just getting a few thoughts out. Kind of jumbled thoughts.

The Six of Us said...

Just remember, Janine: parenting is not conformity with other parents.


And this post was not a response to yours. It has been in my mind for awhile.

Janine the Bean said...

Oh, I know. It has made me think. That's part of why we're here, right? To challenge each other?

Now, get your butt over here.


The Singlers said...

I didn't have a chance to really give the post the time that it needed due to a three year old asking about 50 questions at once. I just wanted to say that I enjoy the dialogue between you guys. You are making me think.

Wish we could be there to join in the discussion in person...

JPB said...

It's a tough issue ... what to expose kids to and when. And probably all the tougher for you on the racial issue. I can't speak to it with any authority because I don't know quite what it would be like to have my kid endure it -- though I know that in all these areas there is a line to be walked. Hide them from too much and you don't equip them for reality. Give them too much too early and you rob them of the capacity of being stunned.

Our prayers are with you.

Janine the Bean said...

Wise post brother.

And you're right Jodi. Parenting is not conformity with other parents.

I thank God that we have a relationship where we can talk about these things.

The Six of Us said...

The lines are "fine" between so many things, aren't they? And you are right, it is a fine line.
For myself, the tendency seems to be to want to be ahead in what my kids are learning. We are homeschooling, right? Okay...it is MLK day so they need to know.

They will. But five is seems so young. Just as I have a problem with sex ed in early grades. My children are with me. I know (hopefully) when they are ready for such issues. Through talking and knowing my kids at this young age I hope to watch for right times to "burst their bubble."

I think the distinction I am trying to make at this early early age is that some things are for adults to wrestle with. I have no reservations with my kids overhearing the conversations of adults on difficult matters, I am just not ready to introduce it to their curriculum. I am not convinced that it would stick.

I think anyone who knows me will know that the subject WILL be taught...eventually.

I think I am probably a tad more pensive because of Noah...but I am not certain that my thoughts would be changed were he not here. That said, there is part of me that doesn't even want to introduce the idea that some don't see black as equal.

With all the rambling thoughts, I could go on forever. These back and forth thoughts do help though.

Sheri said...

I would expect nothing less from you wise Balsbaughs and I love it. Thanks for letting me "listen".

JPB said...

By the way ... on sex ed ... it is SO much easier to talk to them about sexuality as they mature and approach / cross the threshold of puberty if they know they learned the basic biology at a less hormonally charged moment. This I can speak to. We just wove all the mechanics, so to speak, into biology class. Reproduction. Sexual Reproduction. Human reproduction.

Then later you can talk privately and at ease about human sexuality proper.

My two cents. No conformity required.

Let's see ... sex, politics ... anyone want to tear into a little religious controversy here? Hey! We had our kids baptized!

The Six of Us said...

"La la la...not listening" that is my approach to sex ed.

Ha ha. Just kidding. Thanks for the advice on that one. It makes sense and sounds like a great approach. What age do they start biology? first grade? Driving by sheep in a field?

Janine the Bean said...

Sheep? Mmmm...not a great one. They're kinda...loud. Bad first example.

We could get a male mouse and you could see how mice do it.

No, but seriously, I like that advice Jon.

JPB said...

Well ... I'm sure the OSU sheep barns are open on other than lambing days.

Aaron and Joy Edewards said...

Somehow I missed all the discussion in my busy spring-cleaning-don't touch the computer mode. It was nice to read everyones thoughts on this and just soak it in and learn from you all. Sometimes I feel like an outsider and not on the same wave with the three of you but to hear everyone say parenting is not conformity with other parents made me feel better. I love you and respect you all for your diferences.