Elijah and Luca and I were walking to the park Saturday when I suggested we have a quiz.
“What’s a quiz?”
“A quiz is when I ask you junk and you tell me the answers.”
Eli got really excited and we started off small, like the color of the sky and the color of our house (which he got wrong) and how to spell everyone’s name. But after a block or so I decided to get a little deep.
“So. If a kid can’t walk and needs a chair with wheels to get around, is he better than you, worse than you or the same as you?”
Eli thought for a moment and said, “The same.”
Quite frankly, I was surprised. Someone had been teaching this child acceptance of people not like him. And it wasn’t me. Not that I am intolerant. I just haven’t really thought to bring it up since the dreaded handicap guy at the zoo incident a year ago.
I decided to probe this a little further.
“What if the kid couldn’t hear and needed hearing aids? Does that mean he is better than you, worse than you or the same as you?”
Eh, lucky guess. His mother has been hard of hearing his whole life. If he was prejudiced against deaf people he wouldn’t get any chicken nuggets.
I went for the mother load.
“What if this kid was in a wheel chair, was deaf and he had different colored skin than you. Would he be better than you, worse than you or the same as you?”
I bent down and looked at him squarely in the eyes. I said, “Eli. I want you to know I think you are a pretty great kid.”
He said, “Let’s do the second round where I get double the points. And you ask me math.”