Chocolate or Vanilla Frosty: how my daughter explained that all people are the same

I don’t eat Wendy’s.

It’s not because I don’t like Wendy’s or Wendy’s has done something to offend me. It’s just that, as a former food addict who ate fast food 3-4 times a week, I don’t eat at those places anymore.

Our daughter lives our food lifestyle well – all organic and natural foods – and that means nothing fast (exceptions being Chipotle and Subway for those days when you have to grab something quickly).

But – we’ve learned we don’t want our daughter to be resentful of our choices, so on very seldom occasion, we get her something that she has full reign to choose.

Last night it was Wendy’s. She wanted a frosty.

In school, Kayden has been learning about Martin Luther King. With the holiday right around the corner, she’s been thinking a lot about it – talking a lot about it.

At her elementary school, Kayden has friends of all colors – black, brown, yellow – and she sees no difference between them. She often feels great confusion when it comes to the time before the Civil Rights Movement. She can’t even comprehend segregation or Jim Crow Laws – because her little head doesn’t even compute treating someone differently because of the way they look.

“Mom?”

I see her in the passenger seat as we pull into the drive thru. I raise my eyebrows in anticipation of some new Kayden-like revelation.

“Both chocolate and vanilla are delicious. They both taste just as good.”

I nodded, thinking she was trying to make a decision about which one to get for her sweet treat.

“It’s kinda like people, isn’t it? I mean, it doesn’t matter what color they are or what they look like. They’re all the same.”

Brilliant analogy, padawan (random Star Wars reference).

And then she showed me a photo she had taken – a picture of her own hand, white, with a shadow, black.

Kayden Hand“See, Mom? We are all the same.”

Her 10-year-old mind was processing. And it made me think about being the same.

And this goes beyond just black and white. No matter what you’ve done, what you wear, what color you are, we are no different.

Our experiences, our mistakes, our consequences, they may be different. But those differences allow us to lean on one another – to learn from one another.

When I walk into my classroom, I see all different faces, kids wearing different kinds of clothing, different hairstyles. Kids from different groups, homes, backgrounds, cultures, and circumstances. Kids who like to be preppy, kids who like to be artistic, kids who like to be trendy, kids who like to be athletic. I’ve had theatre kids, car kids, goth kids, emo kids, choir kids, band kids…

…and no matter what they look like on the outside, I’ve found they all want to be heard, they all have pain, they all have passion, they all need to be loved.

I remind them that no matter what we look like on the outside, we are all human: the same. We all walk this journey with two feet, put on our pants one leg at a time. We all hurt, we all love, we all laugh, we all cry. And through Jesus, we are saved by the same cross, the same blood.

When we take the time to get to know someone’s story, it’s very difficult to just see the outer shell. We are drawn to the heart.

I am thankful for a little (almost pre-teen) girl who can remind me of a very important concept.

We are all the same.


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Or read the open letter I wrote for my precious daughter, Kayden when she turned 10.