Thursday, April 16, 2009

Orange Shirts

Up at the baseball complex, you often see men in orange shirts painting or doing maintenance jobs. They are alternately respectful, quiet, friendly, uncommunicative, without eye contact, some smiling, tattooed. They are all prisoners. As a town with a medium security prison, we often see men who are (we hope) lower security risks working about town or at the recycle center.

Being a mom, I worry. That's my job. I'm a compassionate person, but when it comes to my children, I'm a tigress. I never leave William at baseball practice without a family member to supervise. Its not that I don't trust the coach but let's face it, he has twelve high energy boys to keep track of and it only takes a moment.... So I tell William not to talk to or go anywhere with anyone that has an orange shirt (or anyone else for that matter). They are prisoners, I explain, people that have done something wrong and are paying for it by spending time in prison. I thought that explained it succinctly, yes? No.

The next practice, Lauren drove him and the first thing Wm. did out of the car was to point at an orange-shirted man and say loudly, "is HE a prisoner??" Lauren assures me that the man did not hear, she thinks. and I'm glad I wasn't there to be mortified.

By the next practice, dh was in charge of Wm's whereabouts and describes a talk in the car. William asked where was America? Dh explained that the United States of America was sometimes just called "America". Did Wm. mean that? Yes, and we don't have slaves in America, right? Dh assented. Then why do we have slaves at the ballpark? What slaves? The slaves in the orange shirts! It seems all this discussion came from Wm watching Liberty's Kids, a historical cartoon for kids that we use to jump start U.S. history lessons. Well, at least he's picking up a little bit, even if we have to straighten it out later.


Kristen Painter said...

See, cats don't ask these kinds of questions. Just "where's my food?" and "why aren't you petting me?"

Easy stuff compared to that.

pita-woman said...

Oh my, if that isn't a "from the mouthes of babes" comment worthy of the Readers Digest!!
You gotta love a childs innocence though!

Sepiru Chris said...

If the girls are doing science Friday "On air" then I would ask them to share something in return, that they consider related.

It could be anything, on any topic that they consider related.

They could leave it as a biggish comment. Science and history and philosophy and literature all rolled together gives them lots of room. They could branch out into whatever they want.

If you and they are game, that is.

Maybe that is too much like work. Though I am very curious to know what they come up with.

As per Wm... it reminds me of someone I know who apparently said, as a small child to a customs officer, "Are you the man whom we are hiding everything from?"...



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