Who is this guy?
That was what my four year old son asked when he saw this picture on a post office door:
That's Martin Luther King, Jr. - I told him.
Why is his picture on the door? he proceeded.
My son asks lots of questions. Sometimes they can be repetitive. Sometimes they're so insignificant I don't even know how to answer (ie, "Why do mosquitoes have to eat blood?" [for the record, only female mosquitoes bite people and it's because they need the protein in blood to develop eggs]) - but sometimes he asks a question that is so small with an answer so big, I get excited:
His picture is on the door because the post office is closed on Monday because we're celebrating him.
Because he was a really cool and special man.
Well first, Martin Luther King Jr ("MLKJ" for purpose of this blog) was very good with words.
Do you know how you get really mad and frustrated and you want to scream?
MLKJ was mad about a lot of things and was frustrated a lot too but instead of screaming or acting out, he used his words.
Why was he mad?
Because he wanted people to be nice to each other and to treat each other with respect. You know how we always talk about being kind to everyone?
Well sometimes people were not kind and when they weren't, MLKJ spoke up and said, "Hey! It's not okay to be unkind. That's not cool!"
Wow - sounds like MLKJ was a good talker.
And speaking of his talking, MLKJ used his words to write a speech that is very famous called, "I Have a Dream"
What were his dreams?
He was dreaming about all the things that people would do and become as they got older and how he wanted them all to be able to do whatever they want and be kind to each other every day.
At this point, a fire truck with lights went blazing by, so the conversation de-railed, but he did ask me later in the day about "Martian King" again. I don't remember that question - or the answer. But I do have hope that some of what I said sticks. We've come a long way from 1963 but I think it will be even longer before the realization of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream is a reality. It's nice to have a day off but it's even nicer to have a purpose for reflection. I took the morning off to drink my coffee and read his speech I also started to read about his pretty cool and crazy life but then the baby needed a diaper change so back to reality, I had to go.
The man is truly an inspiration. No matter what your interpretation of the speech or how you feel about his life or this day off, he was also parent. So when he said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live ..." I totally get it because I have dreams for the world my children will live in too. And it's pretty much exactly the same dream that MLKJ had - that no matter what our children grow up to do or be - that they will all be treated, respectfully - equal. No matter who or how they love. No matter their skin color or background. Religious upbringing or choice. Abilities or lack there-of. Basically for all the things that they are that we cannot change, but also for all the things they will be - that they may all grow up learning a respect for all people and each other.
My name is Elena aka The Breastfeeding Stylist and the creator of Mama's MilkBox and Carmen.
We have one mission here at Mama's MilkBox: help Moms find their "old" fabulous selves in their new normal.