It was a little rainy so Laila wanted to take an umbrella to school.
She got out her new long handled Primary one. The primary Pres gives one to each child on their birthday...it's something about being protected and watched over under God's umbrella...you get the idea....but I digress....
Laila took the umbrella and immediately placed it behind her neck horizontally and hooked her arms over each end.
"Look mom, I'm a slave!" She smiled at me proudly.
I kind of looked at her quizzically. I didn't really know where this comment was coming from...I wondered what she had seen or heard of recently that would prompt this.
Then she said, "You know..... HEBREW?!?"
Ahhhhh..... too much Moses and The Ten Commandments. HEBREW SLAVES!
Then she paused and asked, "What am I? I know I'm not African , but what am I?"
I told her she had Latin heritage with roots in Puerto Rico.
"If you were a boy, I would call you Latino, but you are a girl so you are Latina."
She smiled at this.
"I like that. That's so pretty!" she said enthusiastically. "When I'm a mom and have a little baby girl, I'm going to name her Latina. How do you spell it? It's so cute!"
Laila went off to school smiling under her umbrella.
We've had other "I'm different" moments in our home. I remember times when Laila put lotion on and didn't rub it in all the way so she would appear white. Times when she put on my make up base to be lighter skinned. All of this, and she's only seven.
When her "What am I?" question happened, I kind of expected the worst...I was wrong. She ended up excited and pleased with herself.
I'm sure we'll have more conversations and moments of "different" through the years, but this one was a good one.
Latina, what a beautiful, beautiful word.