On Thin Ice

For spring break, I treated us to a trip to our favorite mountain resort. By “treated” I mean “once again took advantage of an awesome friend with a fabulous ski home where we can stay for free.”

It was too hot to ski, so we found other fun among the mountain’s bald spots. Hot springs and the rec center were big winners. The Roo wanted to try ice skating, but Wee Man came down with a weird fever. So I Florence Nightingaled him while our pal took Roo up to the rink at the base of the mountain.

When they returned, my friend shared one of those stories that would’ve been much more enjoyable had it been about someone else’s kid.

In addition to showing off her natural skating talent, the Roo wowed our pal with her literacy. She read the rink’s dedication plaque:

BLACK FAMILY ICE RINK

You probably can guess where this is headed.

He congratulated her on her mad skillz and kept skating. About 10 minutes later, just when he was across the very public rink in the center of the village with roughly 20 innocent bystanders, she shouted out,

“HEY GUS — WHY IS IT CALLED THE BLACK FAMILY ICE RINK WHEN THERE ARE ONLY WHITE PEOPLE HERE?”

True, most of the patrons of this resort are as white as the melting snow. But did she notice this herself, or did I say something to help her reach that conclusion? Do I project my PC self-consciousness on to her by talking about it? Would that then sensitize her to people’s skin color, something she’s seemed pretty oblivious to up to this point?

I don’t think making an issue of it is the way to go. She’ll have plenty of time to develop PC self-consciousness in the future. For now, I’m taking it as yet another reminder for me to watch my mouth. A-parent-ly I can’t get enough of those.

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