"Look At Me"

"Look At Me"
monotype and screenprint

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Promise

January 21 was Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  At school, my 1st grader learned all about him.  He came home and asked me a billion questions, like usual.

Then he asked, "Did Nana go to his funeral?"

Nana is Tyler's great-grandmother.  She is 96 years old, and my only living grandparent.  She lives in Rhode Island and I haven't seen her since Tyler was 18 months old.  Derek has never met her.  We talk on the phone a lot, but she can no longer travel, and with Derek, it's too difficult for us to fly out and see her.

I suggested Tyler call Nana on the phone and talk to her.

This is what I heard:
"Did you meet Martin Luther King Jr.?"
"Did you hear him speak?"
"Did you have to sit separately from other people on the bus?"
"Did you go to his funeral?"
and finally...
"What do you mean women weren't treated equally either?"

When Tyler hung up the phone, he was silent.  (This happens rarely.)  Since then, he has asked me a lot of questions about rights and equality.  I told him that, unfortunately, people will always have to fight for equal rights.  And that he will probably have to fight for his brother at some point in life.

He asked me, "Because he can't talk well?"
Me:  "Yes, baby."
Tyler:  "I will.  I promise."


  1. I love this. Morgan compared himself to Rosa Parks last year. He said, "She was bullied for being black. I'm bullied for my autism." I told him that it wasn't right then and it's not right now and that I, and others like me, are working to change that. He sat there, quietly, gave me a kiss and said, "I love you."