by Brooks Kenny, a guest blogger who is workin' that skirt -- Brooks sizzles up a room with her laughter, she encourages anything that is fun, has been known to juggle three nannies in one month, and is one of the most generous people I know. Here's her story of a tea party for Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday --a day the kids are off from school, parents work here and there, and we all sleep in a few extra minutes. It is a day filled with opportunities. Ours started with my Sean (3) drooling on me in my bed. About 5 minutes later, I feel a tap on my shoulder. It is my beautiful 5 year old, Paige. Her first words, "Mom, can you get the tea ready for our breakfast party? It is Martin Luther King's Birthday...and, it is my Lamby's birthday too." (Can't forget her first lovey, Lamby!) "In 5 minutes," I say with a yawn. "Pleeeseee...Moooom!" When I arrive in the kitchen, I search for drinkable tea for my young kids (red raspberry, best choice, add lots of sugar). I take out our tea cups (yes, Grandma, the breakable ones). When I approach the family table, I couldn't help but smile.
Paige and Sean had stacked books on each of the 6 chairs around the table. On each stack of balancing books was one of their guests - another lamb, a doll, teddy bear. I poured the tea. Pete made the eggs and toast. As we ate, I asked Sean and Paige what they knew about the day we were celebrating. Sean said "Martin Luther King JUNIOR never gave up. He tried and tried."
Paige said, "Mom, do you know about the rules they had when he was alive, before he went to heaven?" "Yes," I replied. "But, tell me what you mean." "Well," my determined daughter said, "people with brown skin were not allowed to play with people with white skin. And, people with brown skin could not go to good schools, eat at restaurants, or play in the same pools as people with white skin." I asked her what she thought about that rule. She said, without hesitation, "Mom, that is the worst rule I have ever heard of. Does that mean that if I lived back then, I would not be able to be friends with Diana?" Diana is Paige's closest friend at school. Diana is more than friend to Paige. She takes care of her. She walks with her hand in hand to P.E. (Paige is scared of dodgeball - who can blame her?). I put my arms around her and said, “We have a lot to be thankful for. We can thank Martin Luther King, Jr. that Diana is your friend, and that you get to play with her every day at school. And that we can treat everyone we know with kindness.”
So, tonight, I thank Martin Luther King Jr, for having a dream and for giving our children a world where treating people who are different from us is "the worst rule ever!"
Brooks is a mom, wife, and the Chief Marketing Officer of Lotsa Helping Hands, a business that helps organize community support to families who have experienced an illness or death, care giving for an aging parent, and assistance to military families who feel alone when a spouse is deployed.