Before we made the decision to become a trans-racial family, the day honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't mean much more to me than perhaps a day off work, a day to get some errands finished, and maybe catch something on the news about the marches. I never really got it, but I never tried.
I'm not going to claim that I get it now, but I'm trying. Today this day means so much more. It means that I have to do all I can to learn more, to understand more, and to do something more. I have to do this for myself, and for my children.
It means I need to listen to the speeches that this great man gave. I need to not only listen, but to hear - to hear in my heart the struggle, the enormous struggle he, and so many others, faced each day. The struggle that people continue to face today.
Yesterday in church I cried while we sang "Lift Every Voice and Sing," and decorated a tree with different colors to signify our commitment to embracing diversity. Five years ago that experience would have been comforting to me, but now it feels different. It feels imperative. It reminds me that, as white parents of a beautiful African boy, here in America, we have a lot of work to do. We meaning Kevin and I as parents, and We as a nation of people.
Micah is still too young to understand what today means to so many people. He is still too young to listen to speeches and to start to understand his heritage, his culture. That doesn't mean we don't start now. I want the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. to be one he knows, and knows well. I want him to know that I'm learning, I'm trying to understand, and hopefully he'll see someday that I'm doing. Hopefully someday he will be inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., as so many others have been.
And so, as we read from our newly acquired book on Martin Luther King, Jr. before nap, this mama had to hold back the tears. I looked down and kissed my son and thanked God for the man that gave so much of himself for the struggle of African Americans, for peace, and for equality.
When we got home home from the bookstore today, Micah took his book and went to sit and read all by himself. It was very sweet. He also has never sat and listened to a whole book with so much text. He sat and listened to every word of this book.