Yesterday Little One flew home from 3 weeks in Lousiana with Big Brother and Beauty. Even though she is 16, it's a big deal for her to fly alone and to have layovers and to switch planes and find her way around the Dallas/Fort Worth airport on her own, but in her own quiet way she manages and as she gets older her nerves are calming and when she got home she sat on the couch and told me all about the connections she made along the way.
There was the woman with the baby and the preschooler and full arms who couldn't unfasten the car seat. Little one asked if she needed help and sat her stuff down and helped her to get settled.
There was the woman who complimented Little One's drawings....I asked what she said, "Those are amazing!" What did you say? "Thank you.....what else would I say?" Lol
Then there was this story.... Two little kids sat next to her who were flying alone. A 10 year old girl and her 8 year old brother.
The girl asked Little One, "Excuse me, how do I get the flight attendants attention?" L.O. showed her the button to push. Then the little girl asked, "Will it make a loud noise? HOW will it get their attention?"
L.O. explained, "No no, a light will flash right up here," pointing to the overhead panel. "There is no noise."
As the flight began the little girl started to talk to L.O. About her drawings.
"How do you know how to do that shading? How do you know which parts should be light and which parts should be dark?" My quiet peaceful girl explained her methods, and then offered to share her supplies with the little girl and her brother and they spent the 3 hour flight drawing and talking and comparing.
L.O. explained that, "The little brother was only interested in drawing his own way, but the little girl asked me to draw an outline of a face for her and she would do the shading herself."
She wanted to give it to her mom, "but I will tell her you did the outline and I only did the shading." Her sweet honesty....making sure L.O. knew she would not be taking credit for any part that was not honestly her own work.
The story went on for awhile, the plane landed and L.O. sent them home with a care package of pencils, paper and smudge sticks, and I loved hearing it all and then she ended with...."they were the most adorable little black children." The color of their skin was not part of the story, it was not relevant to anything, other than to describe them to me, someone who wasn't there to see for herself.
How powerful is this today, after the unfathomable violence we all witnessed in Virginia yesterday? While a white supremacist drove his car through a crowd of protesters, killing one and hurting many others, Little One was sitting on a plane sharing her life with two children, two human beings who were interested in what she was doing, who found a way to calm their nerves of flying alone, to make the time pass, to connect with one another...and this is as it should be. This interaction is not special or because Little One is special. This should be our "norm." It should be what is expected... that we love our neighbors, that we extend a hand when we see anyone in need, that we come along side one another...simply because we are all just people.
How on earth in 2017 is the color of one's skin STILL an issue?
Jesus have mercy.