After three years of playing with her Noah's Ark set brought back by her Aunt Dia from a mission trip to Kenya when Micaiah was only four months old, Micaiah finally noticed Noah was a little different from her.
As I changed Emmett's diaper this morning, Micaiah came in from her room, holding Noah, "Mommy, this is my friend Ester." Now, Ester is our sponsored child from Africa to whom Micaiah knows we send stickers and other fun things she gets to help pick out (but gets in trouble if she tries to play with them herself). We keep her photo on our fridge and our little girl often refers to going to her friend Ester's house and has even called her her sister at times in the past. This is the moment when I realized she has finally seen the differences between herself and her African friends.
"That doll is Ester?"
"No, this isn't Ester, but Ester has a brown face."
"Oh, like your doll. Your doll and Ester both have brown faces because they're both from Africa. But there are lots of people here who have brown faces, too."
"Oh, Africa. And when we have brown faces - "
"Well, Micaiah, we won't ever have brown faces. God made them with brown faces and he made us with not-brown faces."
"Oh, well what color am I?"
Uh oh. I wasn't sure about the politically correct answer to that question.
"Well, technically, you're white."
At this, she laughed as only a three-year-old can at the ridiculousness of the misnomer. "I'm not white!"
"I know, it's kind of a peach."
"Well, what color are you?"
"Oh, I don't know . . . maybe . . . orange?"
"Yeah, I guess it's kind of orange."
"No, not orange. Maybe . . . yellow?"
"Are you yellow?"
And that, my friends, was our first lesson on ethnic diversity.
PS She later pulled out her book on glaciers and attempted to identify Africa on her world map all on her own. And, by pointing to South America, she wasn't very far off! That's one smart girl.