Me: "Do you want to come with me to get a free Slurpee?"
Kids: "What's a Slurpee?"
Me: "Uh...kinda like a mix between a popsicle and juice? A soft popsicle in a cup?"
Me: "You get to choose your flavor."
Kids: "YES, LET'S GO!!!"
6th grader: "He [4th grader] doesn't realize that they [1st & 2nd graders] all follow him. If he does something stupid, they all go and do it too."
*So much truth, and such good insight from a 6th grader! Luckily, the "stupid thing" was riding a bike down a small hill and needing to walk it back up the stairs.*
Me: "Hey, buddy, wait for us at the traffic light!"
Him: *Gets there first and patiently waits*
Him: *As soon as we get there, takes off into the street, despite the red light and red walk signal.*
Me: *Quickly yelling and pulling him back*
Me: "Buddy, do you see that walk sign? The orange hand? That means we need to stop! When it is our turn to go, it will change into a white guy walking. Then we can go."
Him: "That sounds so racist."
Two things stick out to me here: I have written before about how easy it is to forget that there are some "simple" cultural things that these kiddos may not know. This time, I was guilty of it. I figured that because we had been to many lights before, he knew what a walk signal meant & how to use it. Turns out, he was just following the others! Secondly, it made me wonder how they perceive issues of race. Are there things that they feel that I don't know or think about? Or was it a response based on things they have heard in the past? We are all Asian-American, but being only half-Chinese and being born to parents who are more Americanized, I would guess that my experiences and perceptions are different than theirs.
In the end, we all left happy!