“You need to have a word with your son“, my wife told me. “He has been crying each time I pick him up from school that he wants straight long hair“.
When you get to know that he was the only black kid in his school, the reason for his desire for straight long hair becomes clearer. At the age of 6, a clear awareness of looking different from his school mates was having an effect. So as it goes in our house, daddy needed to have a chat on this one.
So when it was bed time, I said ” son, mummy told me you want your hair straight and long”. Straight away the tears can down his cheeks, “yes daddy, I want it straight and long”. He was a 6 year old and so none of my admonition that hey “loads of folks with straight her would like to have curly hair like you” and my other motivational talks was appealing to him in any way. I knew this was one of those parenting moments, where you hope for an inspired answer.
I asked him, if he knew the most powerful man in the world. He was crying out loud now and not listening to me. But I managed to get him to answer, he said “God”, I reminded him that God is not a man. Then I told him that the President of the United states is considered the most powerful man in the world. Then I got out a tablet and googled out the picture pf President Barack Obama. His little face lit up, first in astonishment and then in what seemed to me like ‘great pride’. He took the tablet of me, smiled and said, “he looks like me“. “Yes, he has your kind of hair” I said.
That was the last time we ever had that discussion. As President Obama closes his last week as President of the US. I had a light chat with my son to see if he remembered, he did. He said “so he will cease to be the President of the United States”, but “don’t worry daddy, I know I can be the most powerful man in the world now!“.