A mama once called to talk about her daughter with learning challenges. She was in 7th grade, as I recall, and her co-op was about to study something her mama was afraid might be too difficult for her.
As mamas do (and as I love to hear), she chatted on and on about her sweet girl, telling me about how artistic she is and how she loves to cook.
As I was thinking later about this precious creation of our heavenly Father, it occurred to me how different her life would have been if she had been born four hundred years ago in a Native American village.
I’ve made up a story to illustrate how the life of this daughter of a worried mama might have been different if she had been born in that village.
On a bright October morning, a Wampanoag mama gave birth to her first child, a little girl. As soon as her father, who was the sachem of the village, saw her, he said (I’m translating it into English as we go), “Thank you, darling wife, for the gift of this little flower.”
As Little Flower grew, she became a loving helper to her mama. When Mama wove baskets, sewed clothes from deerskin, and strung beads for necklaces, Little Flower watched closely. When she grew big enough to make them herself, she delighted in creating things that were useful and beautiful.
Little Flower also stayed close by when her mama cooked over the fire outside their home. In time, she offered suggestions of herbs to add to the pot. She patiently stirred and tended the fire. Slowly, Little Flower grew into a young woman and married a man from a nearby village.
Little Flower became a loving wife and a loving mother. Other women in the village looked up to her and sought her advice. Her food was delicious. Her baskets were tight. The clothes she sewed fit well. The necklaces she strung were beautiful. Her creations were functional, but they were also works of art. Her words were wise.
No woman in the village held more respect than Little Flower, and no one ever knew that she couldn’t read or that she knew no math besides the basic math she needed in cooking and in creating the beautiful objects she made.
The difference between your children and the Wampanoag girl is that your children live in a world with expectations that all people are created the same. “All men are created equal.” That is true. But they are not all created the same. Not one person is inferior or superior to another.