While I’m on the subject of hair

My Mother told me this story about me.

When I was four or so she worked in downtown Topeka, Kansas decorating department store windows. She took me to a “nursery school” while she worked. We traveled on city buses. One day as I sat on my Mother’s lap I took particular interest in the black woman sitting next to us.

To my Mother’s great mortification my four-year old self asked the woman, “why is your skin that color?”

My Mother was greatly relieved by the poise and deft response of our seat mate. “Because God made me that way,” she replied.

I took that in and remained silent for a moment and then once again plunged my Mother into helpless consternation. “Why is your hair that way,” I asked.

At least I didn’t ask to touch it.