Kindergartners always amaze me. At this point in my life, I can’t imagine being five years old and immersed in a world that’s so big and so confusing. As I read the book Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek to a kindergarten class, I was struck dumb and reminded that they didn’t have the background knowledge to fully enjoy and comprehend the story. A story that ends with the question “And without Abraham Lincoln, where would we be?” And I was faced with the daunting task of explaining slavery and the Civil War to 5 year olds. It was a very simplified version, of course, but I think they understood some of the gravity of race relations.
When I asked if there were any questions, and with kindergartners there always are, one little boy raised his hand and stumbled with words saying, “I don’t really know about his name, his full name, but you know, our president now, President Bama…Obacca…Chewbacca; he would like Abe.” I smiled and agreed.