Saturday, as I was giving Never a late night snack, he told me that on Friday he learned about Martin Luther King Jr. in school:
I asked him: "What did you learn?"
He replied: "They killed him."
Then I asked: "What did he do before he died?"
Never's reply: "He saved the world. Mommy did you know that they used to make children go to separate schools? That was a bad waste of schools!"
From the mouths of babes, ya'll..
I was not going to post anything for Martin Luther King Jr. Day - we know who Dr. King was and what he stood for; we know what he did and we know the legacy he left to us all: to bear witness, to continue his work (if only in our hearts).
But one of the many gifts of Motherhood/Fatherhood/Parenthood is/are the lesson(s) our children teach us. They are pure, untainted and, at times, uncomfortably honest. A child's sense and understanding of love, justice, fairness, and honor has the surgical precision of a scalpel - slicing through all of the bullsh*t we adults do and make flimsy excuses for. It's unwavering and devastatingly uncomplicated.
I was not going to post anything for MLK Day - but then my precious 6 year old child innocently reminded me that, because of Dr. King the world, my world, my children's world is a better place to grow up in; a better place to be. From the mouths of babes indeed!
So, in honor of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and his well deserved day, I offer the end of the speech he gave, hours before he was murdered. To his last breath, Dr. King spoke to our better Angels; believed in the decency of us all; he had faith in us, had his eyes on the prize, and encouraged us to do the same - with dignity and grace...
"When I got to Memphis. And someone began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out...Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountain top. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. but I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land! And so I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!"