Knowing how expensive those rocks are at the store, I decided to get two buckets and separate them one by one, black and white. It was my project as I was the insane person bound and determined to save a buck. My husband JakeRyan made it abundantly clear he was not in on it. I'll show him.
I grabbed my hardly used work gloves (as if!) and my cushiony-garden-sit-on-thing and began picking. Plunk, plunk, plunk. Five minutes into the project I decided I needed a partner so I called Ryan, a Kindergartner at the time, to help me.
Heck, the kid was six. There was no reason why he couldn't pull his weight and help with an easy chore. How hard was it to separate some rocks?
"OK Ryan. You're going to help me in the yard." With this he protested because he was born lazy like his mother. After I told him it wasn't up for discussion I gave him the instructions: Put the black rocks in this bucket and the white ones in that bucket.
"I can't," he said.
"Um, yes you can," I replied.
"No... I can't."
"Well, I'm telling you right now you're gonna."
"NOOOO... I really can't."
This fun little dialogue went on a few more rounds when finally I responded to one of his "I can'ts" with a "WELL WHY NOT?"
"BECAUSE OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.," he screamed.
He was noticeably upset at this point. The poor kid had just finished a unit on MLK in school the week before and here was his own mother condoning segregation! Granted, it was rocks and not people, but he took this important lesson very seriously.
After I gained my composure from laughing so hard and running to tell his father what just transpired, I explained that it wasn't wrong to separate black and white rocks and that what Martin Luther King fought for was only about people. I also told him how proud I was of him for remembering what he learned.
In hindsight, perhaps what I should have been most proud of is that my 6-year-old son stood up to an authority figure for what he thought was right and didn't relent. That's my boy.
A few weeks later, while piling into the minivan he annoyingly plopped his butt in his little sister's car seat. I threatened his life if he didn't get out. Unfortunately for him, his Rosa Parks explanation didn't go over well. "Nice try. This has nothing to do with Rosa Parks. You're just trying to piss off your sister."