Finn bought a Barack Obama T shirt several weeks ago and has been wearing it to school. That may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but here in Alabama, in the conservative Tiny Kingdom, he might as well have gone naked and painted “I HATE FOOTBALL”on his butt and he’d have gotten the same reaction. He reported engaging in several “lively discussions” which I was happy to hear about. He was also on the receiving end of some insults, which were unfortunate but not unexpected. He garnered a few high fives in the halls as well.
Overall, I was proud that he had the balls to stand up for what he believed in a very visible way, especially at such a tricky age. He’ll be thirteen next month, and about fainted when I picked up cross-country carpool and got out of the car and walked across the parking lot to talk to a friend, thus exposing myself to his friends. I was dressed and everything, and I think I’m a reasonably cute mom, but he acted as if a haggard witch had emerged from the minivan specifically to embarrass him.
The day after the election he wore his shirt in celebration, although he said he was careful to remain quiet and let his shirt do the talking.
“But when I got to the cafeteria, it was awesome,” he told me. “Most of the lunchroom staff is African-American, and when they saw my shirt the man who helps replace the bins of food pointed and said ‘Cool shirt,’ so I said ‘Barack On.’ And the lunchroom lady said ‘Oh honey, how you doin’ today?’ and gave me like seven chicken fingers and usually they give you four.”
“Sounds good,” I said.
“My friends were jealous, but I don’t think the cafeteria ladies were spreading the wealth around. I think they were just celebrating.”
That’s a relief.
Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: My Name Is Anne Glamore and I Am A Member Of Curmudgeons Anonymous