Always, Always Under One Sky

It started last week.

LittleBrother brought home a project he had worked on in school. Let it be known: I am not an overly sentimental mother. My husband and I have often wondered aloud to one another if our children will be angry with us as we have not kept every card they have received, every art project ever created. In fact, we have kept very few of anything. I mean, it’s not as if I haven’t done anything to preserve memories. See also: This blog. But for the most part, I keep some holiday things to use as decorations and very little else.

So when I pulled a white piece of paper out of LittleBrother’s backpack the other day, I didn’t expect that it would catch me off guard. That I would want to hang it in my office. That I would feel a surge of pride in a few blue sequins glued to a piece of copied paper.

Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream of equality and… peace.

Then BigBrother got home from school. Rinse repeat, but with colors and words he wrote on his own.

“Hands are lots of different colors. You can be friends even if you have different skin. Every body can be friends.”

Later, I read through his homework with him — a book about the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. An advanced book, it delved a little deeper into the topic than his art project. I found my heart catching in my throat as my seven-year-old read to me about the racial injustices of our country’s history. More than simply “I have a dream that kids will play together,” he read the words and gave voice to the scars of our collective history. Hearing it from him, however basic in his understanding of what he is reading and saying at this age, made the hair on my arms tingle and dance.

But, it’s just a water fountain, Mommy. Why couldn’t they drink from it?

Discussions have popped up over the past week about things like rights and water fountains and kids in his school and, finally, a verbalization of the simple fact that his sister’s skin tone does not match his own. I breathe slowly and answer carefully, hoping I am setting the foundation of a greater understanding.

Today’s inauguration seemed fitting.

As Richard Blanco read his amazing poem, my tears fell. The beauty of his words mixed with the truth and weight of those same words hit me hard. We’ve done so much, and still have so much left to do. And yet, we are always — always — under one sky. Together. To teach my sons this concept, that we are together under that one sky trying to do what we feel is right, is something I don’t take lightly. It is a responsibility I hold dearly, that I aspire to — for fear that if I don’t get this one right, I will have let down future generations. I want to teach them to respect, to honor.

I look at their faces and I feel the weight of the dream, the charge to do better.

Peace and Love

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

I want to teach them to be the light, to be the love that this world so needs.


You Capture: Peace (Beach Style)

We’re on vacation. While the word itself sounds like it should be relaxing and peaceful, it’s really not all that relaxing and peaceful. It’s not bad, of course. But it is busy and chaotic and rather noisy with these two boys in tow. I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. (Though I would be able to sleep past 7:00am in an ideal vacation. I mean, seriously. 6:00am is not my friend.)

But there have been moments of peace. Moments of quiet. Moments of beauty. In between the noise and the chaos and the sand and the noise and the mess and did I mention the noise? I am thankful for all of the moments. Or, most of them. You know, that one time I ran into the end of the bed with my thigh three times and now have a huge bruise… I didn’t love those moments.

But there has been peace.

Waves of Peace
Waves of Peace.

Reflections of Peace
Reflections of Peace.

Peaceful Together.

I should now get back to my noisy day. If you want to see more peace, you should hit up the You Capture challenge for this week. Next week’s challenge is: food. I wish I would have known that last night at dinner! Mmm.

Off to see if I can capture some more peace today. Doubtful. (It’s family picture day.)