At Katie’s pre-school Thursday, the teachers asked her and the other members of the 2-year-old class if they would choose magazine pictures of people who represented their family and friends. After the kids made their choices, the teachers cut out the pictures and helped glue them on a piece of paper. Later that afternoon, Katie proudly brought home the following representation of her family and friends:
First, I’d like to applaud her cultural awareness and her sense of style. It’s a beautifully diverse group of people… but not a single one of them looks like any of Katie’s family or close friends.
So this morning I asked Katie to identify each person in her picture…
Me: Katie, where is Daddy?
Katie: This guy
(Similar smile and even at 34 years old, I’m just a big ole kid!)
Me: Katie, where is Mama?
Katie: This one.
(A similar smile and both have long hair. Also note the placement of the lady who represents Elizabeth and the boy who represents me…they are next to each other on the paper)
Me: Katie, where’s Nana?
(Both are in their 60s and have red hair and glasses)
Me: Katie, where’s Pops?
(Assuming that the Asian man could possibly be a Buddhist and considering that Pops has a Buddha-zen like quality about him…this connection is not too far off. Ok, maybe it’s a stretch. She probably chose the man from the magazine because he looks like one of the dads who brings their children to the pre-school or one of the church members who has elementary school kids who have been over to the house. Who knows really? At least diversity is appealing to her.)
When I asked Katie “Where is GG?”/”Where is Ms. Anna?/”Where is Ms. Holly?” (all whom are white) she pointed to the skinny young hip African-American woman. At least she’s making the connection that they’re all the same gender.
I then tried to ask Katie if Uncle Ben or other family members or friends were in the picture, but she shook her head and said, “Nooo. I don’t want to….Watch Hakuna Mattata (her code for wanting to watch the scene from Disney’s The Lion King where Pumba and Timone sing ‘Hakuna mattata means no worries…’“
And that, young grasshoppas, was end of the diversity lesson for the day.