I need to give a little background to this story. Having an African-American child in our family impacts how we view history. For example, when we read a book that was set in the pre-Civil-rights era (the story of courageous little Ruby Bridges going to an all-white school—great book, by the way), the twins were HORRIFIED! “What do you mean? Are you saying that Patrick wouldn’t be able to go to the same school as we do? Why? That’s wrong!” When we explained that this restriction was only a small portion of the injustices, they could not fathom it. Needless to say, we are holding off for a little while longer before we talk about slavery.
With that background in place, let me tell you what happened the other day.
PJ has been like an annoying fly with Jake lately. He bugs him nonstop, dogging his steps, punching him lightly on the arm at every opportunity, grabbing his sleeves, coming up from behind him and poking him—on and on and on. (I think he misses the summer days of being with him all the time.) Finally, early this week, Jake had had enough. PJ bumped him from behind, and Jake whirled around and grabbed PJ’s forearms. “Why are you doing this?” he half-yelled. PJ just stared back, a little pleased, I think, to have gotten Jake mad, but not sure what Jake was going to do.
Jake went on. “Is it because a long time ago white people were really mean to black people?”
PJ’s eyebrows went up because, of course, he had no clue what Jake was talking about. “Well?” Jake demanded. PJ’s eyebrows went even higher, and he shrugged.
So then Jake says, “Well, those days are over, man. They’re over. Stop bugging me.” He dropped PJ’s arms and stalked away, leaving PJ looking around wondering what on earth had just happened and Em and I nearly rolling on the floor laughing.
I LOVE our crazy family.