My Family

My Family
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Offended or Uncomfortable - Both

Jacob is studying civil rights leaders in history right now.  Now, for some reason, Jacob is the only black child in the class - I'm not sure there are even brown skinned students in his class, so he stands out.  I asked him how he felt about the discussions and he said, "I'm offended".  I asked him what he meant by that and he said everyone always looks at me.  We discussed that offended might not be the exact feeling he was having - uncomfortable perhaps.

Today I looked up the definition of offended.  It said, "to cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in".  Well, my bad, he very well could have been offended.  I'm sure he resents sticking out

Jacob prefers to blend and subjects that obviously set him apart from everyone else definitely makes him uncomfortable.  When we pulled up to his first soccer practice this year he talked about how he's always the only black kid on his soccer team and Ella piped up - "yeah, me too".  I'm really hoping that next year there is an infusion of some color into his grade level.  It's a bummer as Ella's class is quite diverse.

On the other hand, Ella wanted me to do her hair while we're on her 5th grade overnight trip next week.  Many of her friends are curious as to how her hair looks "down" which isn't exactly the word that reflects her hair undone.  I told her there would likely not be time.  So, instead we did an updo in which most of her hair is froed - is that a word?  I must admit I was glad to see that two of her friends, who are also African American, are in our room for the trip so when she puts her bonnet on to sleep in and oil her hair at least some of the kids won't be surprised.

I'm glad Ella is comfortable with "teaching" if you will.  She seems to understand the curiosity of some of her classmates and knows they are simply interested, especially in her hair.  Jacob, on the other hand, is uncomfortable and yes, Jacob you may be offended as well.

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