Tuesday, January 18, 2005

So I took a month off. Sorry.

A conversation with Charlie (age 4) about why I wasn't at work yesterday

ME: You know why I'm not at work today?
HIM: Is it Sunday?
ME: No. It's Martin Luther King Day. It's a day that kids don't go to school and a lot of people don't go to work and we remember what a man named Martin Luther King did.
HIM: Did he die?
ME: Well, yeah. He did.
HIM: Why?
ME: I'll get to that. The deal with Martin Luther King was that he thought people should all be together. Like, you know how your friend Will has darker skin than you? And how Will's dad has darker skin?
HIM: And I have bright skin!
ME: Or light skin. Yeah. Well, it used to be that he would have to go to different schools than you and not get to eat in the same restaurants or use the same bathrooms as you. And Martin Luther King and a bunch of other people thought that wasn't right.
HIM: Like my fish! My fish had lighter skin in the summer and it turned dark in the fall.
ME: Well, that's kind of another thing. I'm talking about people.
HIM: And I'm talking about fish.
ME: But Martin Luther King was a person. And he worked hard so that everyone could be together. And once a year we have a holiday, like Christmas or Thanksgiving, to remind ourselves of that work.
HIM: How did he die?
ME: Well, they shot him. People didn't want all that to happen so they shot him. But we try to make it happen anyway.
(long pause)
HIM: I want to talk about my fish some more.

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