Janice Wood's Blog

Lessons in Love and Possibilities

Janice Wood

Janice Wood
Lafayette, California, United States
November 11
Mother of 2, Grandmother of 4 Writer, Meditator, Watercolorist B.A. Social Science, Master's in Theology- Avid reader Optimist except when I'm not. A believer in human rights, love, and mystery.

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JANUARY 18, 2013 11:57PM

Aiden and I and MLK: A 5 Year Old Making Sense of History

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When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children... will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."
-- "I Have a Dream" speech, August 28, 1963

This is rewritten and reposted to honor Dr. King and his love and sacrifice.



hayden back view



My grandson, Aiden, and I spent the school holiday together. He is beautiful with reddish blond hair, light blue eyes, and even has one big dimple when he smiles. I picked him up at 3:00 p.m. to drive him to my little cottage, or  "my tree house" as Aiden calls it. We make up songs on the way to my place and sing "Puff," "This Land is Your Land," though we only know one verse of each. Once we arrive, we have a plan.


Always one to initiate cooking projects, Aiden told me that he wanted to make a cherry pie.  He began kindergarten last September so he is starting to understand or at least be aware of some historical events. Here is a recap of our conversation:


A: Grandma, today is Martin King's birthday.


Me: Oh yes, I know about him, Aiden. He was a good man.


A:  He was shot dead. Then he died.


Me:  I remember when it happened. It was very sad.


A:  Did you know he was in JAIL, Grandma?


Me: Yes. I did.


A: Why was he in jail, Grandma? ( his Auntie Holly is a sheriff who works in the jails so he fascinated by the good guy/bad guy thing.)


Me:  He broke a law, but it was a very bad law. Do you know what an unjust law is , Aiden? Some white people thought they were better than black people so they wouldn't let them eat in restaurants or drink from the same water fountains...there were terrible mean laws just for black people. He went to jail to change the laws so that they said we are all good, not matter the color of our skin.


A: What's dead mean? Is Martin in heaven, Grandma?


Round and round we went,  trying to make sense of a good man, striving to change bad laws, getting arrested, being sent to jail, in the end, shot dead, and then  ending up in heaven.


And then we made pie. It was a very good day.






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"...it was a very bad law." This is key in understanding. What a wonderful piece, Janice, and Aiden is so cool. R
What a buttery bit of love to have a little one with a fresh, new brain! Cheers!
A very good day, indeed. ~r
I love your stories like this. I just want more and more. Thank you for this wonderful piece of pie. I wonder too why the good die young and so sadly sometimes.
Thanks so much for reading, Joan, Thoth, Zanelle, and Zumalicious! I miss posting so much...so busy right now. I appreciate your comments so much.