Sunday, August 31, 2008

Childhood

I grew up in the suburbs outside New Orleans. I lived slightly below sea level. I went to Mardi Gras every year. I weathered several large hurricanes. I was in Junior High School when it was announced that the public schools would be racially integrated. I did not perceive all that as some sort of "special" childhood. It makes good stories now. When I was a child, it was simply the way my life was.

Now I have a grandson, Daniel. He is growing up in Tanzania. He lives on high plains near majestic mountains. There are Hippos in the lake near his home. He is learning four languages at once: English, Norwegian, Swahili, and Mbugwe. He sometimes sees lions and elephants when his parents take him for a long car ride. He is one little blond, blue eyed boy surrounded by many, many children with black hair and dark skins. I don't think it will feel like a "special" childhood to him. It is simply the way his life is. It certainly will make good stories for folks who grow up differently.
















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