You probably saw Ellen sitting by President Bush at a football game in Dallas and they were laughing. Caught having fun with George, caused Ellen to comment about the encounter. She's very liberal, but gracious to discuss the divide in our country today. She said she doesn't like to see people wearing fur, but she has good friends who wear fur and she doesn't cut them out of her life because of it. She really encouraged us to be kinder and more tolerant.
A few years ago my son Michael and his wife Meredith were invited by the FOX network to go to the Super Bowl and Terry and I were invited to babysit the two grandchildren Jack age eight and Brooklyn age 11. I have such fun with these two! (They're probably 2 and 5 in this photo of them taking a "pretend" bath.).
The first night we were with them, when it was bedtime they both wanted me to tell them a bedtime story. Since they slept in separate rooms I sat in the hallway with the light on so they could both see me if they sat up and it was easy for them to hear me. I love to make up bedtime stories because I never know what I’m going to say myself. I guess I should say Nelly (my inner child) loves to hear my stories or maybe she's the one who makes them up? Whatever, I love todo it.
In the story, you'll see why I've titled this blog, "Let's Practice More Tolerance."
Here's the story:
Rabbit Ears, Elephants, and Donkeys
Once upon a time there was a wonderful family that was happy and healthy. There was a mom and a dad, a boy, 11 and a girl eight. (I reversed the ages for the story so the kids wouldn’t think this story was about them.) The family lived way out in the country and the mom home schooled the two children. (Brooklyn asked what home schooling was.) There was one small genetic problem with the family; they were born with bunny ears. Beautiful, long, soft, brown bunny ears. The parents raised the children to be thankful for their ears and grateful to God they had them. They showed them pictures of human ears and of course their ears were much better looking because human ears are just plain ugly!
One day the parents told the children that Mom was going to have to go to work and she would no longer be able to home school them and they'd have to go to public school. They explained to the children that when they got in school there probably would be some children (bullies) who would be mean and tease them about their bunny ears, but they should just ignore them.
Sure enough, on the first day of school, the boy was out on the playground and a nasty, mean girl came up to him and said, “Hey rabbit ears, want a carrot?” The boy ignored the wicked girl, but she wouldn’t relent. “Hey, can’t you hear with those big ears or are you just stupid?” She was just one of those people who is intolerant of people’s differences.
At this point in my story, Jack, my sweet eight-year-old love, said, “Was she a Republican?”
Now I was already on the floor so I didn’t have far to go in my hysterics! I laughed 'till I couldn’t breathe and then I said, “Jackie, did you know I’m a Republican?” Both children sat up in bed and stared at me as if I’d said, “Did you know I’m a serial killer?”
When their liberal parents came home, I forgot to tell them about the incident, but a few weeks later I was on the phone with Michael and remembered to tell him what happened. He laughed and said, “You know Jack came to me a few days after you guys left and said, ‘Dad, did you know Gramma’s a Republican?’ I told him I did.”
Then I said, “Michael, you know it might just be the right time to explain to the children that we need to respect each other’s differences. They were stunned when I told them I'm not a Democrat.” It was quiet on the phone.
I love America! I'm a Republican and some of my best friends are Democrats. My husband is a Democrat and our votes probably cancel each other out, but that’s what makes this country great! We can never go too far left or right. If you're a Democrat, be nice to a Republican today. If you're a Republican, be nice to a Democrat today. That’s all I’m ever going to say about politics.
A fun book I wrote for kids "Lettuce Bee Silly" is a great book to read at bedtime. It'll send your kids off to dreamland for some happy dreams. Just click on the cover to order.