Monday, January 25, 2010

An Unexpected Sit

I took the three little ones to the Children's Museum today. I expected the hustle and bustle of children. And I expected some amount of stress seeing as I would be handling a 5 month old, a 2 1/2 yr. old, and then my 3 year old. But they are all such sweet children that I really enjoy going places with them. We enjoyed our usual places in the museum...the super market, the farm house, the tot-spot, the cafe...but then as we were leaving, we saw something I hadn't expected to see.

There in the middle of the lobby was a child sized version of the Woolworth's sit in counter from 1960. Everything was exactly the same as the original. The stools, the menus, the coffee and doughnuts. And even just sitting here typing, the tears come streaming down. I tried really hard not to loose it in the museum, especially because there were other kids and moms all around me, and for me to just start weeping would seem pretty inappropriate. But I could barely hold it together. Asher and Maddie just climbed up to the stools. They spun around and "fixed" their coffee. They pretended to eat and drink...and be merry. They didn't have to ask to sit down. They didn't have to wait to be served. They weren't denied the freedom to simply be. They felt totally free and accepted, with no questions asked. Then some other children came up to play at the counter with them. Three African American boys. They all played together at the counter and then, I really could barely hold it together.

It blows me away that only 50 years ago not everyone had that privilege. That African Americans were not allowed to SIT at certain lunch counters and eat doughnuts and drink coffee. It truly takes all words away from me, and leaves me with tears in my eyes and shaking my head. That people, just like me, only with a little darker skin, would be treated with such disdain and disrespect. Only 50 years ago.

As I stared at these boy's pictures, I felt such valor, strength, and dignity. A courage mustered up that I have never had to muster. A strength that I have never had to face. And a foe that I have never had to encounter the way that they did. Only 50 years ago.



Sometimes it feels like it's been hundreds of years since things like segregation were even an issue. But then, I remember. And I am thankful for men like these, who "with their very bodies, obstructed the wheels of injustice."

6 comments:

Kari said...

Great thoughts. One of the students at my school is the grandson of one of the four men, and that is really amazing to me. We're doing some things to focus on it at the end of the week, which I am excited about.

擔心 said...

Everyone fastens where there is gain.........................................

Get Real Girl said...

What a wonderful post. And you are an amazing woman. . .three little ones at the museum. You are very brave. I take my three places, but they are 4, 7, & 9 and some days that takes a lot of patience and strength.

togetherforgood said...

This is such a great reminder. Beautiful post!

HisFireFly said...

I would have shared your tears.. Ahhh to see what God can do!

Beautiful post.

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

Don't you love to be reminded that we are all God's special children? Beautiful thoughts!