Thursday, June 11, 2009

Doo Rags and Hope

My son and I were in the store today and he's talking a mile a minute to me while I'm half listening and digging through my purse to find my discount card. Out of the corner of my eye I see the clerk watching him in that way that clerks watch boys who touch everything on the counter. She knows nothing of his heart, his brilliance, his humor and the way that he can charm congressmen and kids. She sees the doo rag in his hand, the basketball jersey on his chest and continues watching him to make sure he doesn't finger the emery boards or hot oil treatments on the counter.

"Mama", he says picking up a donation box for breast cancer, "you need to donate some money to breast cancer". "mm hmm", I say looking at my phone to see what call I missed. Then he says, "the breast cancer money goes to the city of hope. That's where Bill Clinton is born". I immediately busted out laughing and the clerk stops mean mugging my kid and looks at him like he's normal and not a threat to emery boards and hot oil treatments. "Bill Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas, Mama..he was born in ..." and the kid then goes on and tells me how Clinton's father died, how he went to Oxford and a couple of other facts about him.

The clerk stops (true story) ringing me up and goes "How does he know that". "He's reading Bill Clinton's book", I say while exercising some restraint and not saying anything sarcastic. "Wow, he must be smart", she says. "He is", I say, "I'm pretty blessed he's a gifted kid and really curious about stuff." She finishes ringing me up and hands me my bag. "It's good he likes to read", she says. "Yep", I say as she hands me my oil sheen and the kid's doo-rag. "Have a nice day", I say and me and my mini Clinton wikipedia leaves the store.

Maybe by the time I need to replace another doo-rag, my son will have finished Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton's book and can give the clerk some comparative analysis while I'm comparing oil sheen.