I promised this post, so here it is. Me confessing to the entire world that I totally blew it.
Sabrina and I were out last Tuesday when she said, out of the blue (because everything a four year old says is out of the blue!), "we are different colors." Great opportunity to have a really good conversation, right?
Well, not if you blow it completely.
It started out okay. "Why are we different colors?" "Well, a long long long time ago, our grandparents' grandparents' grandparents' lived in different parts of the world. And people in some parts of the world have darker skin to protect them from the sun." Yes, I did try to explain evolutionary biology to a four year old.
Then things went terribly, horribly wrong.
"I wish I had lighter skin, Foster Ima."
After I talked myself out of telling her about the study I read about showing that kids of all skin tones are biased towards lighter skin (yeah, a little beyond a four year old's comprehension, and not what she was looking for), I said ... wait for it ... oh you will be shocked at my incredible stupidity ...
"but your skin is part of who you are!"
[Immediate realization of what I said] "I mean, um, what you are INSIDE is makes you who you are. And you are smart and funny and have good manners."
Oops. And now I will go hide under a rock so I never say anything so stupid again.