A few short years ago, I made one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as a parent. I was a new mom, stressed about going back to work. I wasn’t sure about much of anything – naps, nursing, sleep, and so much more. Deep in the throes of new motherhood, I made a decision that’s been one of the best I ever could have made for Abbie. That decision was picking her daycare provider.
I say that not just because I love our daycare (although I do). I say that because in picking who I did, and trusting my gut above everything else, I helped give my daughter a viewpoint on the world. I gave her the view that every person is equal, no matter their skin color, no matter their religion, no matter their place in the world. How did I do that? Well, our daycare provider just happens to be both Muslim and Pakistani.
While she was the first provider I met, I knew quickly that I trusted her. I didn’t just trust her just because her home was clean and well-taken care of, or because I talked to the other parents, or because I looked at her license (even though yes, I did all of that). Something just made me trust her, so we picked her to watch Abbie while we were at work.
While Abbie has been well-taken care of in the over three years she’s been going there, she’s learned so much more. She’s learned all the typical things – ABCs, numbers, colors, manners, potty training, etc. But the most important thing I see from her is her acceptance of everyone. My daughter does not see color. She does not see the differences that plague our public policy and politics. She sees people.
Abbie has the kindest spirit. She wants to play with everyone. She wants to play with our black neighbor. She wants to play with the Hispanic kids that play in our parking lot. She wants to say hi to every person in the grocery store, introducing us as her friends, Mommy and Daddy. Her best friend is our daycare provider’s youngest daughter. Her favorite magazine to look at is Parents magazine, where she points out kids that look just like the people she knows, of all ages and races. She thinks absolutely nothing of race, and I’m convinced the environment we chose for her is a big part of it. She just doesn’t see color.
Isn’t that how it should be for all of us?