My mother-in-law (referred to as “Grandma” for the purposes of this story) recounted to me a sweet little conversation she had with my 5 year old, Lily, the other day in the car. Grandma had taken Lily for a drive while she ran an errand, and when they got back and Lily scampered off to get ready for bed, she told me that Lily had informed her that Dante is one of her best friends. Lily was telling her a story about Dante, and Grandma asked her, “Is Dante black?” (Not sure why Grandma thought this was pertinent to the conversation, but I think his name made her curious.) Lily was confused a moment and responded, “Grandma, I don’t know. What do you mean?” Grandma said, “you know, is his skin black?” Lily says, “I don’t really know. I don’t notice whether people have black or brown skin. He’s just regular, I guess.”
I know “regular” isn’t a word that we usually take as a compliment, but I think Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have approved of that answer. And for a precocious 5 year old, being regular like all your friends is a pretty good place to be.
Incidentally, Dante is this sweet little blond-haired, blue-eyed kid who just adores Lily. He has some special needs, and Lily has taken him under her wing. She mothers him, protects him, and stands up for him, and they’ve become fast friends. I suppose when you find someone who thinks that for all your quirks, you’re just regular, you hang on tight to that friend.