Don’t trust whitey
In November 2015 we took my son back to America to have him baptized in front of my Dad. Eight months later my dad was gone so it was fitting on many levels. One of the men who knew both of us made my son a toy box in his wood working shop to commemorate the day. It was amazing, beautiful and a pain in the ass to get it back to London. Today while trying to retrieve his balloon he stood on it after being told repeatedly not to and it tipped over, spun and went crashing down the stairs breaking the lid off in the process. Luckily he wasn’t hurt but I was furious and let him know so. He knew he did wrong and cried obviously but we’ve found over the years that when he does mess up and cry he does so because he’s ashamed because he knew better but still did wrong. The toy box was repairable and while I was making repairs with wood glue and clamps he came to me on his own attrition and apologized. He then asked if I was able to fix it and when I told I could he said ‘I love you daddy’. Tough to stay mad at that for too long though I did feel a little guilty for raising my voice but what’s done is done. Later that day while he was rummaging around in some books with colorful covers as he does sometimes, he pulled out a big book entitled The History of Britain and opened to the page that had photos of slaves being brought into the country in chains. I didn’t see this at first I just hear ‘Daddy, what’s this?’ I look over and my eyes go wide. Holy shit! Then it’s ‘where are they going? Are they going on holiday?’ Well, there it is. You always think you’ll know what to say when certain things happen but when they do you’re stumped. I know this is a conversation that will come and the questions afterwards will have no end but he’s 5 years old, happy and looking forward to going to school in an hour so I say that’s a history book and those are pictures from a long time ago when things were not very nice and people were still learning to be nice to each other. He thinks about that for a moment then puts the book down and says ‘Okay daddy’ then Dolly the cat jumps past him carrying a ball. He laughs and follows her. The cat is a rescue cat I paid for from Battersea Cats and Dogs Home and right now I’m thinking it’s the best £85 I’ve ever spent. In the meantime I need to think about bringing Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln into the conversation somehow. Sure wish Dr. Seuss would’ve written something about those two.