It SHOULDN'T Be That Big a Deal

A week or so ago, my son was at sleep away camp for a week.  This is his 6 "season" at the same camp and he loves it.  I LOVE that he loves it because camping is so NOT my thing, but that's a whole other story.  The camp posts photos, usually daily, on their social media site.  Since the kids don't have cell phones (or other electronic devices) with them for a week it's a great way to see what's going on.  (Especially for the parents who haven't had a kid at camp before...I can remember the first time he was away and I was checking non-stop to make sure he was okay...I've calmed down somewhat since then...a little.)

Whenever I find photos that have my son in them, I copy them and share them with friends and family.  Yes, I'm that mom!  I'm the mom who took about 1000 photos from birth to first birthday AND printed most of them out!  (And put them in photo albums too...this continued on until he was about 5.)

One of the photos I posted all of my friends loved.  I loved it too.  (How could I NOT?  It's my son.) It was a photo of my son and another boy (probably from his bunk) out on some sort of inflatable on the lake, wearing their identical red life jackets (everyone who goes in/on the lake MUST wear one) high fiving each other. And several people said it should be on the camp brochure and website.  Again, I agree, but it's probably NOT going to happen because just last year a photo of my son and three of his other camp buddies, arms thrown around each other, were featured on the cover of THIS year's camp brochure and website.  So I'm thinking the likelihood of this one appearing is a little slim (although possible.)

Please note I am NOT sharing these photos here.  I don't know who the other boys are and I TRY not to share photos of kids that are not my own without parent permission.  (I MAY have done this on occasion, but I TRY not to.)  They are just boys who are buddies for that one week away.  (Although they may meet again during another camp session.  With 6 seasons under his belt, my son is quite well known at the camp and I'm sure this is true for other kids as well.)  Trust me, these are awesome photos of cute/handsome kids just being kids.

But the reason that friends reacted and love this year's photo and last years so much is because the kids, who again, are just being KIDS, are diverse.  The boy high fiving my son is African American.  The photo from last year of the four boys with their arms around each other in the woods shows my "white" son, an African American boy and two Asian American boys.

Both photos show the simple pleasure of being boys at camp.  There is nothing unique or amazing about them.  Or at least there SHOULDN'T be.  I mean the boys are cute (especially my son!), but other than that, they are just boys.  The fact that they are of different racial/ethnic backgrounds doesn't matter; at least not to them.

In this 21st century we SHOULD be enlightened. Sadly society STILL hasn't evolved:

As a matter of fact, it seems like society has "devolved" (is that even a word?).

What happened to that dream of Dr. King's from 55 years ago?  Isn't it time that:   "all God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last, Free at last, Great God a-mighty, we are free at last."

That dream IS a reality for these boys.  Maybe it is only a reality for that one week at camp; who knows what reality they face in the "real" world. But it IS a reality for them, as it should be for ALL children...for ALL people.

A photo of two friends/bunk buddies shouldn't be that big a deal.  I pray that some day it won't.


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