As I was getting Bud ready for bed this evening, it occurred to me that I should talk to him about why he'd had the day off from school. I mistakenly assumed that he didn't know.
"So, Bud," I asked, "do you know why there was no school today?"
"It's Martin Luther King Day!" he cried. "Junior!"
"That's right!" I said, surprised. "And do you know who Martin Luther King, Junior was?"
"He was the President," Bud replied. "He made a speech."
"Well, he wasn't the President," I said, "but he was a very important American. Do you know what his speech was about?"
"About Free At Last!" Bud said. He told me they'd heard it at school. And then we had a brief conversation about skin color and difference and value.
But the point was not lost on me: my son saw a black man making a speech and assumed he was a President. Because in the world he's growing up in, when he sees a black man making a speech - it usually is the President.
And that's all because of Martin Luther King, Junior.
Kristina Chew has a great post today on care2.com about MLKJ's legacy and the lives of our children with autism. Click here to read it.