Okay. So. We were standing in line at Wendy's. I had told the boys they could each have a Frosty, and they had chosen chocolate. (Because as we all know: a vanilla Frosty isn't really a Frosty.)
Tucker had scouted a table, and Tyler was dancing all around my legs and hopping around the people in front of us, because he's nearly three and I choose my battles. He was dancing and hopping, talking all about chocolate.
"Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate on your face. Yep. There's chocolate on your face."
I was only half-listening, as I was also half-thinking about what to order for my crew.
Just then, my mom tapped my arm and said, "Um, you want to, um, tone that down a bit?"
Oh, him? The squirming child who's hopping all about? Sure.
"Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate on your face." Now he was pointing.
As I leaned around the person standing in front of us in my efforts to scoop up Tyler, I saw the person in Tyler's line of vision: a black man, with a skin tone precisely the color of milk chocolate.
"Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate on your face!"
(That's what my mom suggested I 'tone down a bit.')
I scooped him up and jumped back to our place in line, feeling my face flush and my temperature rise. Oh. My. Goodness.
I did the Fierce Mom Whisper. "Tyler, he doesn't have chocolate on his face. Stop saying that." Except I couldn't stop laughing (from nerves, embarrassment, and downright humor), and Tyler felt like he had hit the jackpot for standup comedy.
"Stop it! Stop it!"
"Chocolate? Where did he go??"
I tried a different approach. I responded with other flavors. "Vanilla."
"No, chocolate. Chocolate on your face!"
Oh. This is not happening. In such a public place, with nowhere to go. No.
Except it was.
Mom placed her order while I cowered behind other customers. I certainly couldn't let my child any closer to thise kind man, and I certainly wouldn't try to order chocolate Frosties while Tyler drew comparisons. She placed her order, and I shuffled him off to sit down with her.
When we were finally seated, I began a lesson in diversity, how God makes people of all colors and sizes.
And believe me: it doesn't mean anyone has been dipped in chocolate.