"How did Martin Luther King, Jr. die at such a young age?" The Mayor asked.He was so genuinely curious that I could tell he didn't know.
The Mayor has been learning about MLK in his class at school.
Wisely, the pre-k teacher skipped over the particulars of Dr. King's death.
But here he was asking me...
I was walking from the kitchen to the dining room, my arms full of dinner plates, about to set the table.
I stopped still in the doorway between the two rooms, wondering how I would answer.
The truth seemed too harsh for my four year old boy.
And yet, the truth is what's true.
What would The Mayor make of the shooting?
[This is the boy who worried for days because Simba's father died in The Lion King.]
The Mayor understands that Dr. King was a good and kind man.
How could I explain why his life was taken? How could I explain hatred and evil to my small and still innocent boy?
I often reassure The Mayor when he gets worried about bad guys.
"Don't worry, Mayor! Good always triumphs over evil in the end. Good is much stronger than evil because it's much harder to be good."I was concerned that the absolute finality of King's death by gun shot would shake The Mayor's faith in the idea that good prevails.
"How does good triumph when a great man is killed?"In the morning we spent the day volunteering as a way to honor King's legacy and then made red, white and blue paper chain decorations for an inauguration party at a friend's house.
I thought about Barak Obama's train making its way to Washington and his swearing in as the 44th President of the United States of America tomorrow.
"That's how," I thought.
"You have to be much stronger to be good, to do the right thing no matter what. You have to wait a long time, but goodness prevails always."I looked up to tell The Mayor, but he had moved on unanswered.
I set the four plates at our places at the table.