At a recent visit to a local kindergarten, I found myself answering the kids’ usual mundane questions. Ok, I know they are young, but there are only so many times you can feign interest in such banal inquiries as, â€œDo you like apples?â€ or, â€œWhat colour do you like?â€
But unexpectedly I was knocked out of my stupor by one student’s rather unusual question. With a look as serious as any 5-year-old can muster, the little boy said, â€œWhy do you have blue eyes?â€ Now due to the children’s age and the language barrier, I refrained from going into a lengthy discussion about genetics, and instead told my young audience that my mother also has blue eyes. This information produced a few understanding nods from the obviously enthralled crowd, but I gleefully shattered their comfortable little bubble by adding that on the other hand my father and sister have brown eyes.
This revelation produced a lot of puzzled looks around the classroom, and none more so than on the face of the little fella who asked the question in the first place. Giving him a big smile, I asked him if my answer was ok. But I guess it wasn’t, as he looked away in disgust and said to his friend, â€œWhat a weird family.â€
A damning judgment indeed!
I tell ya, I gotta love even these little stories about dealing with things in another culture. I aspire to spend some time in Japan and Korea in the future and can only imagine what the culture shock will be like for me even though I’ll be majoring in East Asian studies…
Well, don’t dodge the question man. Do you like apples?
You should have taken the easy way out and just said “recessive genes.”
I am sure that kid would have understood. I say that every time.
And yes, I second Terry. Do you like apples?