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Recent Quotes from the Dynamic Duo

Posted by | December 14, 2009 | BAMBINOS, Uncategorized | No Comments

Some from Kyle:

  • One early morning, cuddling in bed~~ “Papi, I’m a little white just like you. And I’m a lot brown. I’m like you on my hands and I’m brown for the whole rest of me. “
  • Explaining to us one day why he has brown skin (note: Jaren Walker was the boys’ summer sports camp coach and is Kyle’s favorite Lehigh football player, who we watched play in many games this fall)~~ “God made me this way because I love football and I’m going to be a football player. Just like Jaren Walker. He’s brown. That’s why I’m brown.”
  • One evening, requesting a specific type of cracker to be included in his lunch the next day, referring to his Kindergarten classmates~~ “Mommy, you have to put these crackers in my lunch because my people love these crackers! And you have to put my bulldozer spoon for my soup because my people love it when I have that spoon!”
  • Kyle is fascinated with languages right now. He’s particularly interested in the idea that different people speak different languages and that it is often rooted in geographical location and/or race. He has a classmate who is Russian. Kyle often overhears her speaking Russian with her Mom. One day, totally out of the blue~~ “People from France speak French. People from Mexico speak Spanish. People from Russia speak Russian. I wish I moved to Georgia. So I could speak Georgian.”
  • (Note: Kyle does not, by any stretch of the imagination [other than his own imagination] speak “Haitian”/Creole/Haitian-French, but he knows that Creole was the only language he heard in the orphanage while he was a baby in Haiti.) One day, quite matter of factly~~ “Mommy, did you know I speak English and Haitian? My whole family understands me when I speak English. But only my brother understands me when I speak Haitian. Because my brother and me both speak Haitian because my brother and me both are Haitian. Did you know that Mommy? Me and Owen really do speak Haitian. So we speak Haitian when we don’t want you to understand what we are saying. Because we are Haitian! And you aren’t!”
  • We have close family friends whose daughter, Joy Lin, was adopted from China by white American parents. The boys have known her forever and they share the inter-racial-adoption bond. Joy Lin does not go to the same school as Kyle and Owen. At school, Kyle has a classmate who is Chinese (not adopted), and whose parents are both Chinese. He often overhears his classmate and her mom speaking Chinese together. He’s trying to figure out any connection he can make between race and language. One day, after school~~  “Joy Lin and Alyssa are both from China. But Joy Lin was born in China. Alyssa was born in the United States of America. But Joy Lin doesn’t speak Chinese, only English. Alyssa speaks Chinese and English. But they are both from China. And they definitely don’t speak Spanish!”
  • Another day, again on the subject of Joy Lin and Alyssa~~ “Joy Lin and Alyssa are both from China. You can call that Chinese. But Joy Lin was adopted and Alyssa wasn’t adopted. I like China people. I like adopted people and Belly Mom people.” {this was the first I’ve ever heard ‘Belly Mom people’… I thought it was such an interesting way that Kyle came up with to identify non-adopted people!}

Some from Owen:

  • One morning, making french toast, out of the blue~~ “Sugar is my favorite vegetable!!!”
  • One day right after the boys had been eating popcorn for a snack, Kyle announced that he had to go brush his teeth because he had some popcorn stuck in his teeth. Owen, too busy for teeth brushing, quickly replied~~ “Me too Kyle! Something’s stuck on my teeth too! But I’m gonna leave it there!”
  • One day, in the car… we had reached our destination and were about to get out of the car. Meera had taken her shoe off, and I asked Owen to please put her shoe on for me. His reply, completely genuinely sincere~~ “Sorry Mom, I can’t right now because I’m too busy sucking my thumb.”
  • One day, talking about favorite colors (a recent favorite subject)~~ “Mommy, what is your favorite color? But remember, if you don’t like brown you don’t like us.”
  • Another day~~ “I love Mommy, Papi, Kyle, Meera, myself, and Cooper. My whole family. But I do have one thing. Don’t feel bad about this, okay Mama? I love my whole family but I love one person the most and that’s my brother. I do love him a tiny bit the most. Is that okay Mama???”
  • One night, the three bambinos all together in the bath before bed~~ “Mommy, I wish I was white like you.”  me: “Oh, really? Why do you wish that?”  O: “Because I want to all be the same. I wish we were all the same on our skin.” H: “Oh, I can understand that. But I’m really glad you’re not white.” O: “Why?”  H: “Because then you wouldn’t be you! And I love you with your brown skin!”  Long pause. O: “Wait. Actually, actually, I really wish you and Papi were brown like us. I wish you were brown and then we’d all be the same.”  H: “I can understand that you feel that way.” Long pause (as I notice him concentrating on looking at Meera playing next to him in the tub). O: “Wait. Actually, here is what I really wish– I wish you and Papi were brown so that you’d be the same as me and Kyle. But I don’t want Meera to be brown because then she wouldn’t be her! So, it would be you, me, Kyle, and Papi brown, and Meera white. Yeah, that’s what I wish!” 

And, lastly:

  • This isn’t a quote exactly, but I wrote it down on a scrap of paper to remember it~~ Driving home from Washington, D.C. after Thanksgiving… we had to take a driving break so we stopped at a McDonalds that had an indoor playground so that the kids could burn some energy. A cute energetic little boy was the only other kid playing in the playground space. We soon found out he was 5 years old too, just like K & O. His mom was sitting there keeping an eye on him. Him and his mom were both black. K, O, and the boy were instant friends and within seconds they were playing together like they’d known each other their whole lives. Braydon and I stood there chatting with the other mom, and watching Meera, while the three boys played. After a while the mom went to go check on her teenage son (who was eating in the regular eating part), and Braydon took Meera to the bathroom for a diaper change. So I was alone supervising the three boys. The three of them were way high up, inside the plastic tunnel area above my head, looking down at me through a clear plastic window, waving at me like little maniacs, and I was enthusiastically waving back. Since they were so high up, and inside the plastic tunnel thing, they seemed to have the impression that I could not hear them. They were being silly with each other, saying things that only 5-year-old boys think are funny, and laughing hysterically. Suddenly the new-friend-boy became very quiet and serious. There was silence for a second or two, and then, I overhear him say, pointedly, to K & O:  “So, where are your parents?”  K & O: “Right there!”  boy: “Where?” (they are still all three looking down at me, I’m the only other person in the entire play area, and K & O are pointing at me).  K & O: “Right there! Down there! You’re looking right at her!”  boy: “No, I mean, where are your parents?”  K & O (I don’t remember which one said what): “Right there!” boy: “No, I mean, your real parents!?” K & O: “Right there! That’s our mom!” boy (completely perplexed): “The white one?!” K & O: “Yes! The white one!” boy (completely stunned): “Oh.” A second or two passed and then the three of them were off and running again.

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