Monday, June 28, 2010

On Henry "Box" Brown

This evening, for the first time in a long time, I sat and listened to my son read, just listened. I didn't read something else while he read, I didn't wish he would hurry and finish. I didn't care when the baby pulled all the legos out of the box I had just put up. I didn't wonder what time it was. I sat and listened.

And then I was mindfully aware of my listening. For a minute, I drifted and thought how cool it was that this 6 year old was reading about Henry "Box" Brown, when I didn't learn this story until I was in grad school. I marveled at the questions Elijah asked while reading; I didn't make him continue reading and ask his questions at the end. But we talked. He told me, he wouldn't like to have been a slave because of the manacles (no, he didn't use that word) on their hands. He asked where he would be sent to, if he was sold away. He asked how to pronounce and then what tobacco was. He asked what a mistress was. He talked about how Nancy and Henry's children had hair like Nancy and Henry. And then he told me, that when Henry got to Philadelphia, he probably went to play games.
It was a very freeing moment!

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