A little over a month ago, a fellow church member sent out a note asking for help with an ESL and Welcome Center she started at her daughter’s school. It was the first time in a long time that I jumped at something. One because they offered childcare. Two because it was among a diverse group of people that wanted to learn English and I know English kinda good enough. And three because they had childcare. The first time I showed up there was a Spanish speaking man with a great grasp on the language who told me a lot of his story. I just sat a listened. He has only come back once, because he is busy, and probably just came those times for fellowship in an otherwise boring day. That is fine.
A month or so in I am the childcare often. With today at one point six kids under my charge, three of which didn’t speak English and none of which wanted to listen to me…including my own spawn. But I dealt, even though I was really close to not going today… because of Junior not listening anymore.
I went because I truly want my kid to know people of other colors and languages and personalities. I want him to remember when he is 16 or 26 or 36 that not all people of color are moochers, terrorists, abusers, or untrustworthy. I want him to remember a friend from when he was this age or 4 or 6 who he had a great time with and liked. I also want the kids and parents there to see me, a larger white male smiling and listening to them. Because I know television dominates a lot of homes and time. And I know a lot of the coverage on television is negative currently.
I don’t know if it will do any good. I don’t know if Junior will grow up and move to a town with even less people of color (doubtful). I don’t know if I will continue to be willing to smile and listen without speaking and groaning. I don’t know if any of us will be as open as we are now again.
But I also don’t know what else to do to make this world okay.