She Has a Face Like Me

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For some reason I was really struck by this exchange that I overheard at the park a few days ago. There was a young boy, maybe 6 or 7 or, at most, 8 years old. And he got separated from his mom. And he couldn’t find her and he was getting anxious.

This older child – a teenager – was trying to help the boy (very sweet of the teenager, that), and the teen asked the boy, “Ok, we’ll find your mom, what does she look like?”

And the boy responded “She was wearing black, and she has a face like me.”

Now, this boy was Asian. And his words struck me, and stuck with me. And I’m still not sure why they have continued to echo in my mind, but they have. There was at once a sort of prideful belongingness, and a defining separateness, ringing in those words. And I wondered whether it was the difference from so many of the faces around him, or the unique sameness of a related face in a sea of primarily Hispanic, Indian, and Caucasian faces, that prompted his description – a description that at once both smacked of the naivete of an innocent child – and yet was a damned brilliant way to quickly convey what his mom looked like.

In any event, bravo for both him, and the teen that went to his aid.

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