Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Amazing Grace

Ugh, I've never liked that song.  I know this statement just made some of you doubt my salvation, but it's true.  But let me explain...

When I was little, a lot of my relatives died.  I attended quite a few funerals.  Three of my grandparents died before I was ten.  A common thread to these funerals?  That's right, Amazing Grace.  So I grew up associating Amazing Grace with death and funeral homes.

I did change my tune about this song when I learned of its origin and the great William Wilberforce and the incredible conversion of John Newton, a former slave trader.

But this blog post was never intended to be about the song.

It's about a book.

I can't tell you how my heart broke when Sitota came home from school today.  She told me that kids were telling her that she "won't get picked to be Rapunzel (in the 2nd grade musical) because she is black and that would be too ugly".

Yuck.  I could barely type those words.

I immediately called to mind a great book we've checked out from the library quite a few times, though not recently.  It's called Amazing Grace, by Mary Hoffman.

It tells the story of a girl named Grace, who wants to play Peter Pan in the school play, and is told she can't, by her classmates.  Praise God for her strong grandmother who takes her to see a ballet featuring a African-American woman and, of course, encourages her to go for the role.

You better believe Casey brought it home from the library tonight!   And rest assured, it is already checked out of my Amazon cart!

I want Sitota to know that skin color DOES NOT preclude her from doing ANYTHING.  Now if the rest of society would just cooperate...

And between you and me, I think we all know the real amazing grace here, is that I haven't beat up those kids up yet.


  1. I know the day is coming when these things will be an issue. Not just in the color of Lily's skin but because of her speech. Because I understand this will be a looooong battle. I pray for the grace to not beat up any kids either. Praying for your little one.

  2. I am happy to report that her teachers have been super responsive to what happened and will be reading the book in class! SO grateful for good teachers who really care!

  3. Wow. A strong grandma in the book, and a strong, loving mama in real life!

  4. Rich authentic writing, Erika. So glad your mom-in-law Gail turned me on to your blog! Amazing grace moms like you are changing the "the rest of society." Go, Erika!